More than just redecorating in Edgemoor

August 21, 2009 2:29:45 PM PDT
A crime-ridden community in Delaware is turning itself around one home at a time.Edgemoor Gardens is one of the top spots for crime in New Castle County.

"At night, I don't come out; I'm petrified, but when officers are out here, we're safe," resident Marlene Price said.

A new initiative is in place to transform the community from the inside out and making the adults and children that live there feel safe.

The changes are seen in a home that will serve as resource center. An example of the change is in the transformations of a recently renovated kitchen that looks like it came straight out of a magazine. Public and private donations made the renovation possible. $12,000 appliances were purchased for $4,000 at a scratch and dent place.

This shows what is indeed possible when residents are determined to turn a troubled community around.

"This house was built in 1942. She's been through a lot. She's an old girl and she got a new dress," Cheri Whitney of Edgemoor Revitalization Cooperative said of the newly renovated home.

The kitchen is not the only room in the house that will be a transformed; one room will soon become a computer lab, just in time for school.

Cheri Whitney will run the resource center that will offer everything from family counseling to advice on accessing public resources.

"There will be conditions to use the house. You're going to have do community service hours," Whitney said.

Whitney is seeking public funds to purchase 25 to 30 homes that will be renovated at rock bottom prices that residents can afford.

Meanwhile, the officers in the neighborhood will continue to clean up crime and build a relationship with the children and law abiding citizens.

"People feel that connection and we've got people now that call us and report crimes and I think it's improving," 1st Class Roberto Herrera of the New Castle County Police said.

In fact, crime has dropped 24-percent since community policing began in Edgemoor Gardens 7 months ago.

Inside and out, things appear to be looking better and brighter for this neighborhood.


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