ELYRIA, Ohio - Sprucing up two Elyria neighborhoods is the next NewsChannel5 Building Better Neighborhoods project. The cleanup will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday and run until 6 p.m.
Volunteers will help rehab dozens of homes and yards on South Maple Street and Gates Avenue. The neighborhoods have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, leaving the area with many vacant lots and homes in need of repair.
Elyria's mayor said she hopes up to 100 volunteers will lend a helping hand painting homes, repairing porches and roofs, fixing gutters, landscaping and weeding. The cleanup is part of NewsChannel5's Building Better Neighborhood Initiative and coordinated by the city of Elyria.
"This is an amazing opportunity for our administration for the departments and the community to really come together. We live it, we see it. Friday we're really going to have an opportunity to come together," said Elyria Councilman Marcus Madison.
The NewsChannel5 team will be led by anchor Chris Flanagan, Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis and several other NewsChannel5 employees. NewsChannel5 will broadcast live reports during the noon, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts and have a day's wrap-up at 11 p.m.
Longtime Elyria resident Delores Hersch is appreciative of the volunteers that will help work on her home. She said otherwise she would not be able to afford it.
"I'm grateful and thankful for this because it shows, not only the people of our community, but even in the government they are willing to come help. So I'm grateful for it all," she said.
Several local businesses are pitching in to help support the clean up. Marco's will supply pizzas, Dunkin Donuts will offer donuts and McDonald's will supply drinks. The other sponsors and partners include Elyria's Mayor's off on Volunteer Engagement (M.O.V.E.), Hands On Northeast Ohio, Business and Industry Association, Lorain County Joint Vocational School, Marcus Madison, Ward 5 Councilman, Boys and Girls Club, Church of the Open Door, 100 Black Men, Gregory Trucking, R. Hammond Construction, and the Minority Business Assistance Council of Lorain County.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can check in at the Boys & Girls Club located at 1821 Middle Ave. in Elyria.