Local organization cleans up neighborhood

Thursday, September 25th 2008, 9:02 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A local organization has worked to repair homes, which they believe will eventually lead to the transformation of a crime-infested neighborhood.

The neighborhood, boasting the zip code 73114, is located on the NE side of Oklahoma City around the Broadway Extension area, between Wilshire and Memorial.

"It's a very old neighborhood," volunteer Joe Baumgardner said. "There are a lot of empty lots here."

News of crime in the area began spreading over the summer, including the story about two teen who threw a brick through her car window near Wilshire and the Broadway Extension.

It was the increase of criminal acts that led to the development of the Mustard Seed, a group focused on community development in the aging area.

"In the spring, we sent out a postcard to every senior household in the zip code," founder Dan Short said. "If you need home repairs and you're having trouble doing it yourself, or you're unable to pay for the supplies, call us."

Mustard Seed received 107 calls, and they continue to work down the list.

The organization also works with children in the area.

"We are not neighbors to one another anymore. We've forgotten how to be neighbors," Short said. "In three, 12-hour workshops, we teach people how to be good neighbors again."

Volunteers from local churches complete much of the home repairs and Mustard Seed functions on donations. The organization has been dedicated to the area for six years.