Meet area resident Mr. Henry Perkins, who has lived in this area for nearly 30 years. He enjoys gardening and offered me some of his fabulous collard greens. During my visit another neighborhood resident stopped by and Mr. Perkins told him he was also welcomed to pick the greens, “whenever he wanted.”
Mr. Perkins wishes there was a way to instill neighborhood pride back into the community. He would like to see area residents keep up their property better. He felt there needed to be a system in place to help residents with their property when age and finances make caring for it difficult.
One of Mr. Perkins biggest concerns is the lack of care of abandoned buildings and vacant lots. He wants to see the City “do what they are supposed to do” to make sure the grass is cut and weeds cut down. When this doesn’t occur it creates spaces for illegal dumping.
At 70 years old, he’s tired of cleaning up the property behind him and chasing off those that are dumping. “I do what I can. But I am too old for this now.”
I counted tables, chairs and several flat screen televisions, as well as other piles of discarded household items. So, the question becomes, what are we going to do about this as a community? How do we come together and find localized solutions to address vacant lots and abandoned properties? How do we prevent illegal dumping and then find a way to clean it when we can’t? Who is responsible for addressing this type of debris removal? Who do we hold accountable to ensure this type of neighborhood blight does not continue?
So, let’s start thinking about this as a community. Send me your suggestions for how we can help our neighbor, as well as address this issue on a community-wide basis.