LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - More than 20 volunteers hit the street Saturday in an effort to restore the Powell-Hood-Hamilton neighborhood on La Crosse's south side.
The walk through was part of Couleecap's Neighborhood Empowerment and Revitalization Project to find ways to improve one of La Crosse's oldest, low-income neighborhoods, said project supervisor Amanda Acklin.
"It doesn't have a lot of the things that is vital for a thriving neighborhood," Acklin said. "There isn't a lot of places for the residents to shop, the housing conditions in this neighborhood are really lacking."
Residents also travel distances for jobs and groceries, Acklin added. Her goal is to help build-up the neighborhood to make it a place to stay permanently.
"We'd like to be able to bring a little more of the owner-occupied status and balance out the neighborhood. Do anything we can to revitalize the neighborhood and bring people back instead of having everybody leave the neighborhood," Acklin said.
Volunteers at Saturday's door-to-door inspected houses for condition and safety, and collected surveys asking residents their opinions on anything from garbage to transportation.
City councilwoman Sara Sullivan represents a part of the Powell-Hood-Hamilton area. She hopes the neighborhood's issues are better addressed after hearing from residents.
"It has some fragile features right now in terms of property in terms of a high rate of poverty, there are some little pockets where people are very concerned about crime, but I think as we walk around the neighborhood," Sullivan said. "The biggest feature is the potential that's here."
Volunteers, like Kyle Nordby, are helping to find that potential.
"There's some families around here that just need a little bit of assistance with the upkeep of their house," Nordby said. "So, we're here to survey out the area and figure out which houses really need the most help."
The city, Habitat for Humanity, the Neighborhood Association among other groups will review these surveys, and come spring, Couleecap and Habitat for Humanity will help fix the homes in critical need.
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