ALBANY, GA (WALB) - For eight years New Beginnings Church has worked on helping downtown Albany get a little better.
"We want to create a safe environment, a friendly environment, where people can come downtown and feel good when they come downtown," explains New Beginnings Pastor Solomon Loud Jr.
They've done work to improve the look and safety of their downtown area.
"We are doing a lot of lighting in our area, we want our streets clean, we want our community neat, we want our grass cut, and we want our buildings taken care of," says Solomon.
They even helped the community by renovating old buildings, and after renovations they opened them for business.
There is now a 24-hour daycare, regular hours daycare, church, barber shop, and plans for much more this year.
Solomon says providing what the community needs in a safe environment is crucial in rebuilding downtown.
"In order to have a successful downtown you have to have what people need," explains Solomon.
Mayor Hubbard says even though other organizations may not be able to renovate buildings and open business, downtown would benefit from more organizations making some of the small changes New Beginnings has made.
"So many of our citizens could help in the same way... they're taking a little part of the downtown area and they are developing it," says Mayor Hubbard.
New Beginnings hopes what they're doing will catch on, and Mayor Hubbard is confident it will.
"Perhaps what we're doing could catch the next block and then the next block would catch the next block," Solomon says.
"It takes one group doing that kind of thing they are doing that's going to make others catch on. They're going to see there are other areas surrounding downtown that they can help to develop," explains Mayor Hubbard.
In the next year New Beginnings plans to open a hair salon, library, another learning center, loft apartments, a grocery store, and a restaurant.