East Albany Neighbors fight back - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

East Albany Neighbors fight back

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Albany- Residents in this east Albany neighborhood were up early in an effort to reclaim their community.

"We're going to drive them out, if their in our neighborhood, they might as well get notice right now, because we don't want it," said Hank Henry, resident.

More than five organizations joined forces to clean up this empty lot along Riverview that was becoming what neighbors call a dangerous situation.

"We got all the underbrush out, and got it freshly painted," said Henry.

A rash of burglaries in this neighborhood prompted action from residents and the Albany Community oriented policing or COPS program.

"There have been some recent burglaries in this area so hopefully doing an activity such as this will help deter those," said Lt. Kenn Singleton.

"It's real good that we can get the cooperation that we are getting today, from the city, the police force, code enforcement, parks and recreation," said Henry.

Students from Turner Job Corp, who are trained in landscaping, volunteered their time to help to improve the lot with plants and by helping to clean up liter along the streets.

And representatives from the Anderson company, a real estate and property management firm, who sell homes to low income families in the neighborhood are assisting the resident's efforts.

"When you see homes that are run down and homes that are boarded up it does deter from someone wanting to be here, but there are some many other great individuals in this neighborhood who want to see it turned around as well and their putting their sweat and effort into it and you need to give those people a hand," said Amanda Schwartz, of Anderson Company.

In the end residents feel it's up to them to keep the neighborhood nice, by banning together.

"If you can see a house from your house, and you're outside and something strange is going on, that's when you pick up the phone and call," said Henry.

And they hope this lot will remain nice, reminding neighbors that if they all pitch in to help they can keep the crime out.

If your looking for help in organizing an event like this in your community to clean up a trouble spot, you can contact the Keep Albany, Dougherty Beautiful office at 430-5257.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com