Meet Kiera Conn, Resident and Brick Mason at Beecher Terrace
February 25, 2021 | McCormack Baron Salazar
For Kiera Conn, working as a contractor on the new Beecher Terrace reconstruction project is personal. That’s because Kiera is a former resident of Beecher Terrace and plans to move back in once construction is complete. A single mother raising three children (ages 9, 5, and 3), Kiera has been working as a brick mason on the reconstruction project since June. For her, the job has had a strong impact on her life. “This job has been great to me,” Kiera says. “The money has been great for me and my family. It’s allowed me to take care of my kids.”
As a former resident of Beecher Terrace, Kiera was hired as a Section 3 contractor. Section 3 is part of the HUD funding designed to foster local economic development and neighborhood economic improvement. Kiera isn’t the only former Beecher resident on the construction site; one-third of the crews hired to work on the $100 million reconstruction project lived in the neighborhood.
Kiera is one of just two women on the job site. She is a part of the team responsible for laying bricks, rebuilding the same buildings her family lived in. Kiera points to her time living and working at Beecher Terrace as some of her family's happiest memories. Kiera has lived in public housing her whole life. Born and raised in Cortenville, she later moved to Shelby Square, where she had her first daughter at the age of 19.
Her family settled at Beecher Terrace, not too long before the reconstruction began. “The happiest memories at Beecher Terrace were working with my case manager Mark,” Kiera says. “In fact, I have had two great resources at Beecher. They have made sure I get anything I need and have access to resources. They have helped ensure my daughter gets to school safe.”
Once the construction is finalized, Kiera hopes her family are one of the first to return to Beecher. “I miss living at Beecher,” Kiera says. “I hope when I move back in that me and my kids have our own space. I can’t wait to get back to a townhouse. Our own place for us to live and for my kids to play.”
Though it’s been a long process to develop Beecher Terrace, Kiera remains hopeful for the future. “I’m glad they’re reinvesting in Beecher Terrace, I love it. I love having work there. It has everything my family needs.”