In early March, WBOK-Radio invited Beacon’s Executive Director Tina Marquardt on to their program to advertise the services Beacon provides. Janet Hayes, a local advocate, happened to be listening in that day. Janet had been working with Zion City residents on quality of life issues including crime and blight. The services Tina was describing sounded exactly like the type of assistance Zion City needed. At the close of the show, Janet contacted Beacon’s office and scheduled a meeting between Zion City residents and Beacon representatives.
Zion City is a small neighborhood located within Gert Town near Xavier University. Its boundaries are Earhart Blvd., Washington Ave. and S. Broad St. Because of its location, in some ways Zion City has been overlooked throughout its history, and the after effects of Hurricane Katrina exacerbated their issues with crime and blight.
Since March Beacon has partnered with Zion City in their fight against crime and blight. Working with resident leaders and creating a formal Beacon Blight Team, the Zion blight coalition has been successful in working with City Code Enforcement to abate their top 10 blighted properties. In sixty days, there have been 2 demolitions and 9 more properties being moved through an abatement process. One of those demolished cleared the neighborhood of a structure that was being used for drug and illegal activities.
Zion City Beacon has since hosted a neighborhood clean up day clearing overgrown lots and illegal dumping sites. Their next scheduled event, Hot Dogs and Hope BBQ, will be held, Saturday, May 19th from 12:noon to 3:00pm located at 4201 Erato St. This event will be to celebrate their accomplishments and the progress to come. This event will be sponsored by Beacon of Hope and Zion City Blight Coalition. All Zion City residents will be invited!
If you are interested in getting involved in the efforts in Zion City or in one of our other Beacon’s please contact us!