The countdown to a community's transformation

100 blocks of blight ready to be removed

By Angela Reilly - Producer

DETROIT - Boarded up, burnt down, and crumbling. Abandoned house after abandoned house plaguing the streets of the Cody Rouge Community. The houses have become an eyesore and a safety threat. The abandoned houses scattered throughout the community will soon change.
From Aug. 11-17, the nonprofit organization Life Remodeled will partner up with local businesses and the Cody Rouge Community to transform Cody High School and the 100 blocks of blight surrounding the school.

"Some people be scared," said Cody High School junior Latayah Mcclane. "Scared to walk down the street because there is so many abandoned houses."

Overgrown grass and weeds, broken sidewalks, and empty lots fill the streets of the Cody Rouge Community.

"I think it looks like a jungle," said Bishop White, a resident of the Cody Rouge Community. "Its really dangerous, they should be boarded up. And for some reason you have people dumping stuff inside the house."

The Cody Rouge Community has been through a lot and no one knows the potential the community has better than life long Cody resident Kenyetta Campbell.

"Children are afraid to walk to and from school," said Campbell. "I am excited that we are able to get rid of some of these homes. It is not good for the community."

Serving as the executive director for the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, Campbell is known in the community as the heart of Cody Rouge. She is a youth advocate and a community planner and has been working with Life Remodeled from day one to make sure the community is on board with the project.

"We are going door to door making sure folks who are not aware of the project that we are informing them about the project," said Campbell. "They are getting excited, especially that they know house are right next door are going to be, torn down, boarded up."

Other said the aim is to create a cleaner neighborhood.

"I would like to see the neighborhood revitalized and more people on the block," said White."

Even before the official renovation week begins, residents of the Cody Rouge Community have already started to notice the community changing.

"At one time you look across the street and you couldn't see nothing but paper, and bottles and crack packs and you don't see that now," said Jimmie Knight, Cody High School's football coach.

The Cody Rouge Community goal is simple- eliminate blight, make the streets safer, and restore pride to the community.

This is my neighborhood," said Brittany Agee, a Cody High School senior. " I feel like I should be able to make a difference in where I live, instead of making excuses."

With 100 blocks of blight removed, some students homes being remodeled, and a newly restored high school, the Cody Rouge Community has nothing but big plans for the future.
"I also see this particular community not only being a model for the City of Detroit, for the state, but for the nation," said Campbell. 

To find out how you can help Life Remodeled, you can visit their website by clicking here.  

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