Volunteers make Clean Sweep a success despite wet weather

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ST. LOUIS - A north St. Louis neighborhood is getting a facelift thanks to a group of volunteers.

Wet weather did not slow down the grind for the last 2019 Clean Sweep. Volunteers cleared out dilapidated homes and debris, donating their time and machinery.

“We have strong men and women out here who believe in lifting St. Louis from the bottom. Everyone has a role to play. We’re happy to have so many construction companies out here and volunteers who are leaning in together as opposed to leaning back in finding the problems,” said James Clark, Vice President of Better Family Life.

For the residents who’ve watched this neighborhood change over the decades, this overhaul is a welcome sight.

“This is truly a blessing. I am thankful and I know many more are thankful because we are the golden girls over here and we’ve been hoping for this,” said Billie Hill, a north St. Louis resident.

But it’s not only about beauty, it also improves safety.

“Neighbors will tell you these vacant properties become nests of criminal activity whether it’s human trafficking, drug dealing or violent crime. We’re all working together. These neighbors want police, they want prosecutions. We’re here to help them and it has to be a holistic approach,” says Jeff Jensen, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri.

This effort is a small step towards building a better St. Louis for everyone.

“So we’ve got about 30 people from our office here helping tear down buildings. We’re committed to this community,” said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

This is the last clean sweep of the year but there’s always next year. You can find the schedule on betterfamilylife.org.

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