MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Frayser community leaders say violence has reached epidemic proportions in their neighborhoods, and they say it’s time to clean up their streets and make a better life for children in the area.
They’ve started drawing success zones in the area by drawing a line around the schools where community members will focus in the coming weeks and months making it cleaner and safer for kids to grow up.
Deandre Brown leads the group Lifeline to Success.
He said, “I feel the need to do something right now.”
Thursday, he told a group of concerned citizens the time has come to take action.
They’re drawing a line around Frayser schools and making it a priority.
“We will illustrate to the students that the community cares. And that the students have the opportunities they need to succeed,” Brown said.
He wants to see different groups come together and clean up the streets by removing trash, reporting suspicious activity to police, and, most importantly, hosting community gatherings to make kids feel empowered to learn and encouraged to go to school.
Linda Creel has lived in Frayser for 48 years.
She esaid, “People come and go. Children grow up and move away.”
Creel takes time to care for her lawn, but doesn’t see the same effort from all of her neighbors. In fact, she has to look at an abandoned house just across the street every day.
Community leaders say if kids saw more examples of people like Creel, who invest in and care about their hometown, they would see that carry over into the next generation.
“We don’t have any plans to move. We love Frayser,” Creel said.
Brown told the crowd work has started to make that kind of attitude more present in Frayser just by showing they care.
“We will make sure it is a place where education can reign and our children know they have the opportunity to succeed,” he said.
Brown said volunteers will be going door to door in this success zone, letting people know how it works and how they can get involved.
The zone spans from Dellwood to Whitney, Watkins and Steele.
Brown hopes to establish several of these success zones across the area in the next few years.