Volunteers cleanup blighted Slavic Village property to stop crime and help neighbors

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 6:50 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Volunteers cleaned up an abandoned and blighted property, known for crime and drug abuse, in Slavic Village, Friday.

Ward 12 Cleveland City Councilmember Rebecca Maurer, Neighborhood Pets, University Settlement, and Slavic Village Development partnered for the cleanup.

The house is located at East 65th and Sebert.

Neighbors are happy to see this property have a fresh start.

Becca Britton, the executive director of Neighborhood Pets, runs her non-profit across the street from this house. She said, for years, this property has been a dumping ground.

“It’s really refreshing and it’s nice for this issue to be seen,” Britton said.

Britton said the property has been a hazard for anyone who walks by it.

“Having to watch them step over garbage and step over broken glass and syringes and condoms,” Britton said. “Not to mention the people that live on this street. There are families here, there are children here. It’s just not fair for everyone to have to live this way.”

Maurer said this is not just an eyesore. She said neighbors are tired of the absent landlords who don’t take care of these properties.

“This is an intersection that is seeing tons of drug abuse, tons of crime,” Maurer said. “We had a shooting just within the last week and the neighborhood is saying enough is enough.”

Volunteers hope this is a new beginning for a neighborhood that deserves a clean and safe place to live.

“You need to keep awareness about what’s going on and keep the community involved,” Britton said. “Make sure everybody knows they’re seen, and they’re heard and that they’re experience is important.”