Grant to help transform Beecher Terrace and Russell Neighborhood
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A federal grant could help transformation one of Louisville's most troubled neighborhoods from violent crime and drugs into economic growth.
The Beecher Terrace Housing Projects and the Russell neighborhood have historically been known for criminal behavior, however, that federal grant could be the first steps in a dramatic upgrade and the people who live there will have some say in how it all happens.
Marshall Gazaway is one of them. Several years ago he fell on hard times and was forced to move into the Beecher Terrace.
"Not only do I see gunshots here in Beecher, but all over the city," said Gazaway.
In addition to the gunshots, violence and widespread pollution, Gazaway often sees and reports criminal behavior.
"If I am unpopular but if I am, so be it," he said.
Gazaway's hat says "veteran" and proudly displays his military service. It perhaps also reveals why he doesn't mind speaking up.
"I didn't go to war not having all the fear and then come back and live in a house and have all the fear here," Gazaway said.
The area has been the site of dozens of shootings and homicides over the years and has continued to decline but major change is in the works.
"We're just excited about it though because it is immediately adjacent to a thriving business district," said Kevin Fields, Sr. Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Louisville Central Community Center, Inc.
On Tuesday, Metro housing officials will release the results of a study that is part of a federal choice grant that focuses on transforming Beecher Terrace and the entire Russell neighborhood.
"So this is an opportunity for the neighborhood and other stakeholders in the neighborhood to come and learn about what's going on with the planning, but more importantly to be apart of the planning," Fields said.
Housing officials say it is kind of like the Hope VI projects we've seen in other housing projects but bigger and better.
"This is the next evolution of Hope VI," said Tim Barry, Executive Director Louisville Metro Housing Authority, "It really didn't take in consideration the problems that might exists in the adjoining neighborhood and choice is a nice evolution of that."
Again, the public will get two chances to be heard on Tuesday at Central High School. The first meeting is from 10 until noon and then later on that evening from 6:30 to 8:30.
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