Nov 20, 2012 7:05 PM by Erin Steuber
The McComb-Veazey neighborhood in north Lafayette, in need of a facelift, is getting one. The district has historically been an area full of working class families. In recent years, the neighborhood has fallen victim to blight. With blight often comes crime. Residents want to put a stop to it.
You might recall, 2 weeks ago, in this same area, 28-year-old Damien Watkins was stabbed to death at a business in the 1100 block of 12th street. Just an hour later shots were fired near Magnolia Street and Pinhook. Police arrested three suspects.
The entire project is funded through local businesses, private donations and partnerships with several non-profits throughout the community.
Melvin Roberts Sr. has been living, and working, in McComb-Vezeay for more than 20 years. His barber shop has been a fixture for more than two decades. He says revitalizing the neighborhood has been needed for a long time.
"I just love the community. I love what they're about to do," said Roberts. "Just to see it actually come to fruition, that's what I'm mostly excited about."
Restoring the McComb-Vezeay neighborhood includes several projects over a few years, building new homes, renovating existing homes and cleaning up, and beautifying streets.
"We're going to be installing some historic signs here, we're going to be painting in the intersections," said Organizer Tina Shelvin. "We have several intersection paintings that we're going to be doing. We just want to build that economic engine to bring back businesses, and homeowners, back into our neighborhood."
Organizers are hoping this weekends events will help rally the community around positive change.
"My favorite part about living in the community is that everybody can come together, and everyone comes together, and stuff especially when things need to get done," said resident Kent Babin.
"A better environment, a better neighborhood, a lot of people living more comfortable, can sleep better at night," said resident Lorenzo Angelle.
The projects starts Saturday at 10 AM with a street painting, of a magnolia, at the intersection of 12th and S. Magnolia Street in Lafayette. Anyone is welcome to go help. Then at 3 PM, a block party to celebrate the painting and the kick-off of the project.