The power of one man to change his community

Written by:  Donna Davis

One only needs to walk through the Klondike community with 83-year-old Charles Morris to understand his mission. "I moved here in Klondike from the country, when I was 16, and I moved in Klondike and I liked it. It was a beautiful place, streets clean, houses neat, and then it seemingly. Everything started going down." says Charles Morris. The Klondike area, once thriving, is now littered with condemned and boarded up houses and as many as 50 vacant lots. Morris is concerned that every house that comes down means fewer people in his community, further eroding its tax base and voter strength. His solution, Morris is hoping to buy as many of the lots as he can one at a time. He wants to put houses on them and sell them. Not for profit, but to make his community a better place. Morris says, "I have always been taught, if you cut down a tree, plant another to take its place. And I feel the same way about the community. Tear down a house, build another one to take its place." It's a massive undertaking to be sure, but Morris and his wife are committed. He says, "If somebody don't try to do it, eventually it'll be a wilderness." Morris also says he knows he can't do it alone, but he hopes his example will start the pave the way for positive change in his community.