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Flint teens help clean up blighted neighborhoods

Aug 5, 2015

Hundreds of teenagers fanned out across Flint today to help clean up the city.   Many hope by doing so they can also help clean up the city’s battered image.

Hundreds of Flint area teenagers spent today cleaning up blighted neighborhoods in the city
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Teens spent hours picking up trash, hauling away brush and painting boarded up homes.

Mark Baldwin helped oversee about 50 teens along a stretch of Forest Hill Avenue on Flint’s north side.  Baldwin is an Americorps/Vista volunteer.

“We’re hoping that these young people can see how they make an impact on the lifestyle and the pleasure of life that the neighbors…get from their work,” says Baldwin.

Jelani Taylor’s work gloves are dusty and smeared with paint.  For him, it’s about more than just beautifying a neighborhood.

“I want to change how people think of Flint,” says Taylor.

He says many people only think of Flint as the ‘murder capitol’ of the United States.  Since Sunday, four people in Flint have died in gun violence.

Organizers hope the cleanup will help the teenagers connect more with their community.