Fort Worth's Stop Six neighborhood has an unemployment rate that's two-and-a-half times the city average. Nearly 80 percent of people there fall in the low-to-moderate income bracket, and the crime rate is among the highest in the city. But city leaders have a plan to change that.
At the corner of East Rosedale Street and Amanda Avenue you'll see a bare foundation where city crews tore down a rundown old store. Just behind it, construction is underway on another old building, and orange cones nearby show repairs underway on Rosedale.
It's all part of a "broken windows" approach the city is taking — fixing the little things to bring back neighborhood pride and safety.
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The city has invested $2.56 million for fixing up or tearing down about 50 old buildings. They're also removing dead trees and overgrown shrubs, and crews have already cleared out 180 tons of litter.
Ongoing sidewalks improvements and new street lamps are making it easier for folks to walk around in their own neighborhood.
There are slow signs of development, with at least one new business opening up on Rosedale.
But Cleveland Harris, a longtime Stop Six resident and community activist, says the true focus needs to be empowering folks who live there to start their own businesses and take charge of their neighborhood.
"I challenge the mayor and the city council to not just put up some buildings and fix some streets, but to come wholeheartedly with some type of formula that will work for economic development with the people in the community — not outside, but within the community — and you will see a greater change," Harris said.
The city says that is all part of the long-term objective, to promote economic development and support neighbors finding their own way out of poverty.
They're also aiming to reduce crime and will be putting up mobile surveillance cameras in crime hot spots around the area.
Stop Six is the first community trying out the city's Neighborhood Improvement Strategy, which the city hopes to expand to other neighborhoods.