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New Group Partners for Change in Youngstown - WKBN

The sounds of shovels filled the air on Youngstown’s east side Friday as workers with REVITALIZE helped spruce up and repair homes in the area.

Jack Black was part of the crew that was fixing cracks on Rutledge Drive in the Lincoln Knolls neighborhood. Black grew up in the area and says it feels good to give back.

“We’ve been cleaning out all the old, abandoned houses, picking up all the trash,” Black said.

Black is one of nine full-time members of the newly formed REVITALIZE team. The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) has partnered with AmeriCorps to help fight blight in the city.

“They removed 187 tires, 409 50-gallon bags of trash, which is over 20,000 gallons of trash,” said Ian Beniston, YNDC. “In addition, 600 cubic yards, so that is about 15 dumpsters.”

The volunteers are about three weeks into the project, and they will work for one year. The total length of the project is three years.

“This is the first neighborhood that they are concentrating on,” said Youngstown 2nd Ward Councilman T.J. Rodgers. “This is something we’ve been pushing for a long time. We are not going to stop. This is just the beginning, and it is going to take the whole neighborhood to do this.”

Rodgers hopes the project will encourage everyone to maintain their homes. Black said they’ve already noticed a change.

“Everybody came together and made the neighborhood look better than what it used to out here,” Black said. “It is a big difference.”

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