Hollywood-Springdale area starting clean-up - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hollywood-Springdale area starting clean-up

It's a neighborhood in need of a facelift: the struggling Hollywood - Springdale area. They're cleaning up and fighting crime with your tax dollars and a major assist from Rhodes College. The campus of Rhodes College sparkles with beauty. But just a short distance northeast of Rhodes, you find poverty and plenty of abandoned property that lends itself to criminal activity.

"We have a huge drug problem here as far as sales of drugs and prostitution," said project manager Dorothy Cox.

Cox manages the Rhodes-Hollywood-Springdale Partnership, a federally funded effort to help renew this community. They've moved into this house on Shasta. Rhodes professors and students have organized neighborhood clean-ups, a way to let everyone know -- including criminals -- that people care about this neighborhood.

"The community is starting to get a lot cleaner. The residents are starting to take more pride in their area and they're getting involved," said Rhodes student Justin Guthrie.

A Crime Track of this neighborhood shows challenges. In the last 30 days, there's been 1 homicide, 12 burglaries, 4 aggravated assaults, 8 vehicle larcenies, and at least 9 cases of domestic violence. The new Rhodes partnership addresses those concerns and connects educational resources at Rhodes with the two public schools in the area: Springdale Elementary and Cypress Junior High.

Non-profits, government agencies and businesses around Rhodes are also getting involved. Dorothy Cox hopes it inspires neighbors to watch each other's back.

"It's not about my house. It's about the block. It's about the community. To really have a sense of self, along with that: the big picture. We're all in this together. I like to think of this as grassroots," said Cox.

Grassroots, yes, but with $1-million in support. $400,000 thousand dollars came from a HUD grant administered by Rhodes. College and community partners raised another $600,000 to help fight crime and blight in the area. 

Sharing the sparkle of Rhodes with the entire Hollywood-Springdale neighborhood.

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