Beecher Terrace neighbors offered help with relocating and more - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Beecher Terrace neighbors offered help with relocating and more

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Several hundred low income families in Beecher Terrace have just a few months to find new homes.

It is part of a federal grant which includes renovating the apartments in downtown Louisville. The people who live there will have to go, but they are getting help to make sure everyone makes the right moves.

Laura Truitt said she has lived in Beecher Terrace for about 57 years. That's long enough to remember when it was neither dangerous nor crime infested. "Beautiful, everybody was trying to get in here." 

"Violence and everything, I walked out there this morning to empty some garbage , and there's a man laying behind the dumpster."

But change is coming. In December, Metro Louisville received a $29.5 million implementation grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI). The money is being used to fund portions of the Vision Russell Transformation Plan.

"We ask every resident to sign up for case management," said DeVan King, who is a Case Management Supervisor for Urban Strategies of Louisville.

King said the goal is to help every neighbor transition smoothly. In May, Urban Strategies opened an office in the heart of Beecher Terrace to start the case management work.

"After that, we do an assessment, and it's called a needs assessment to identify what services we can connect them to," King said.

"A part of our work is to first engage the residents to build trust and report," said Tolonda Holland, who is Senior Project Manager for Urban Strategies.

Holland said trust will be built by working with residents and getting their input on renovating and rebuilding the complex.

"The residents are involved in focus groups and will be a part of the decisions about how it will be rebuilt, the first phase includes a senior building," Holland said.

Truitt said she's seen a lot in the neighborhood. "Got out there and waved the police down, and he went and beat on the dumpster with his flashlight to wake him up." That man was able to get some help, thanks to Truitt.  But she continues to pack and get ready for the move.

She hopes the new units will have fewer problems and more managers like Holland and King. "Somebody who is going to walk around and look to see what's going on," she said.

Crews are scheduled to break ground on the renovation project in October. The first phase will include units for senior citizens. Current Beecher Terrace Residents will have the option to return once the project is finished.

On Wednesday, June 14, Urban Strategies will host "Men Who Build" at the Baxter Community Center. The goal is to celebrate the men of Beecher Terrace and find out if anyone needs additional help before moving.

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