Building Better Neighborhoods, Rebuilding Together to help CLE community plagued by vacant homes

NewsChannel5 works with Councilman Brian Cummins

CLEVELAND - It's a ward in the City of Cleveland that's still plagued by more than 700 vacant houses, but volunteers will soon be working in the community, looking to make a difference.

Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins, Rebuilding Together, the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office, and NewsChannel5's Building Better Neighborhoods, will team up to launch a street clean up on Friday, Oct. 19.

The event involves the improvement of 16 homes along West 30th Street, and parts on Lincoln West High School across the street.

Volunteers from the neighborhood, Rebuilding Together,  and Lincoln West High School, will take down high weeds, pick-up trash, paint fences, and replace old landscaping, during the day long clean-up.

"This will be a great boost for this neighborhood," said Cummins. "This is a great way to get residents directly involved in making their neighborhood better and safer."

This is the first Building Better Neighborhoods event that will activate students, and Lincoln West High School Principal Maria Carlson is pleased students will be involved.

"The students jumped at the chance, they love the neighborhood they live in," said Carlson. "They want to improve the neighborhood they love, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to make those improvements."

Juliana Cole with the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office played a big role in inspiring the students to volunteer.

"I'm really excited, I love working with our neighborhood youth, and we've got a great relationship going with the students," said Cole.

Bill Walker living next to a vacant home in the neighborhood for the past 5 years, he'll be working with volunteers to improve his entire street.

"I like all this, some mulch, some painting going on," Walker said with a grin. "I can't wait to help out, I don't mind helping out."

All volunteers will be led by Rebuilding Together Director Paul Holm, who believes the event will be a great way to get students to become active in their community.

Landscaping plants for the street clean-up will be provide Petitti Garden Centers, and lunch for the volunteers will be delivered by Papa John's Pizza.

Mulch and top soil for the event will be provide by Cleveland's Rar Construction, co-owner Keith Rogers and Cook Paving.

The Oct. 19 event will run from 10 am to 6 pm, anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Stockyard Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Development Office at 216-961-9073.

Meanwhile, NewsChannel5 is also trying to spark volunteerism and help make a difference when it comes to vacant and condemned properties.

We're inviting residents to report nuisance properties through our Building Better Neighborhood initiative.

Just send us pictures and information on vacant homes in your neighborhood and we'll forward the information to your city building department, in an effort to move the properties to progress.

We are also giving residents information on how they can volunteer in their neighborhoods to make them better. Those interested in starting a volunteer effort in their neighborhood should contact Hands on Northeast Ohio for more information.

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