ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A woman run out of her St. Louis home by crime is an overlooked part of a celebrated story in South St. Louis: a former drug house turned into a police substation.
In at least one case, the big change was too late.
Shaina Euge was living on Bamberger near Gravois here when that new police substation across the street was still a drug house.
Now, she's out. The house is empty, in foreclosure. Her dream and her credit are shattered.
She and her son, 2, now live on a quiet street, 12 miles away in Dupo, IL.
But the two homes are worlds apart for Euge.
The house on Bamberger was a dream for her. The dream died before her son was born – long before the drug house on the corner became a police substation in November.
“As clear as day I remember that (drug) house; people constantly out there, constantly arguing, constant gunshots,” she said.
She lost insurance coverage after thieves took everything in repeated daytime break-ins through a basement security door.
“Over $10,000 worth of things: 3 TV’s, 2 laptops, a couple of Playstations, a Nintendo, an Xbox, cash, pretty much anything valuable they could find … yeah, we had fortified (the door) after they kicked it in … and they kicked it in again,” she lamented.
The drug house had 117 police calls in a 3 year period including repeated calls for shots fired, neighbor leaders confirmed.
One year of it was more than Euge and her boyfriend at the time could handle.
A roommate had a car window shot out.
The crimes have largely ceased and neighborhood peace has been restored since the substation opened, neighbors told FOX 2.
Euge’s house has slipped into foreclosure. It’s vacant. Trash is piling up outside.
“The fact that there has to be a police substation across the street (for it to be safe) is a reason that I wouldn’t want to go back…I loved that house. That house is beautiful. That house is perfect and I can’t have it,” Euge said.
Neighborhood leaders are trying to raise money to keep the police substation going and cover its operational costs.