St. Roch neighborhood group works to clean up streets

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Piece by piece, neighbors in the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association will be doing this year. The trash pick-up is one of four service projects the group will be doing this summer.

"July 28, July 12, July 26," said Association President Derrick Floyd, "we'll continue with drainage, as well as focusing on blight."

All to better the neighborhood, but the group will tell you there's more than pride on the line.

"Just not knowing who's coming and going from a vacant house opens up the door to all kinds of crime and security issues," said Rosie Lacy with the association. "We've had drugs operated out of blighted property. We've had people pulled in and raped. When you're walking down the street and there's only one or two streetlights and porch lights. You don't feel safe when you're walking around the neighborhood."

Safety has been a big concern in the last week. There's been four shooting deaths in St. Roch and nearby areas. Two of those victims were just teenagers, one of them was gunned down at the St. Roch Park playground.

"It is disheartening and it is sad to experience the murder and violence in our neighborhood," said Floyd. Floyd urges neighbors to stay strong - he says cleaning up crime starts small. "We have to continue working with police. We have to continue filling out hot sheets, getting to know our neighbors," said Floyd.

The New Orleans Police Department says they've been working to identifying crime "hot spots" and putting extra patrols there. Detectives are also working to identify the people responsible for those crimes in St. Roch.

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