'Clean Sweep' Revitalization Effort Targets St. Louis Neighborhoods

Brett Blume
May 01, 2018 - 12:08 pm

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Volunteers will spend their summer targeting trash and dilapidated buildings in several low-income St. Louis neighborhoods.

Clean Sweep 2018 is the result of an unprecedented private-public partnership involving Better Family Life, the Regional Business Council, volunteers and nearly a dozen major area construction companies, which will be contributing time and resources.

"Our member companies were inspired by Better Family Life's Clean Sweep grassroots level work in 2017 to clean up and revitablize St. Louis neighborhoods," said Regional Business Council CEO and President Kathy Osborn. "We saw a unique opportunity to bring our collective in-kind resources to expand upon this summer long effort that will increase the impact in four neighborhoods."

Malik Ahmed is the CEO of Better Family Life, one of the partnering organizations.

"Part One of this effort is to clear the debris and some of the dilapidated housing," he told KMOX. "And then Part Two is to rebuild the housing, making them affordable for people who live in this community."

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

He explained that they're still looking to collect more funding from the corporate community to back the effort.

"But the demolition is all volunteer-driven through the major construction companies," Ahmed said. "We're hoping to demolish or rehabilitate more than 100 homes over the next five years."

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was on hand for a kick-off event in north city Tuesday morning.

"You know, when people live in an area with houses that are falling down around them, that is so negative for their quality of life," she said. "So it's a matter of cleaning up these alleys, cleaning up these buildings."

Participating construction companies include AGC, Ben Hur, BSI Constructors, Clayco Construction, Holland Construction, Keeley Companies, McCarty Building Companies, Paric Corporation, Busey Bank, and S.M. Wilson.

They'll be supplying equipment and labor to support the volunteer efforts throughout the summer-long clean-up effort.

In all, four Clean Sweep events are planned, one Saturday each month through August.

Targeted neighborhoods include Hamilton Heights, Jeff VanderLou, Penrose/Kingsbury, and Walnut Park.