MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city put up billboards recently to encourage neighborhoods to apply for the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Grant, which can award recipients up to $2,500 to fight crime on their block.
The Sky Lake Homeowners Association got $2,500 through the city's grant.
"When you pulled up here, it was just, you couldn't see anything. You couldn't even see what was in front of your hands," association vice president Telise Turner said about her neighborhood before the city awarded it the grant.
She said many senior residents like to walk in the area after the sun went down in order to beat the heat. A green space is all that separates walkers from a wooded area, which was a security concern at night.
That is not the case anymore, Turner said. The grant purchased three streetlights, which were installed early this year.
"A lit neighborhood makes people have a sense of safety," Parks and Neighborhoods director Janet Hooks said.
Hooks said the grant has awarded about $75,000 to neighborhoods across the city so far. The billboards went up about a week ago.
"The neighborhoods have been great at coming up with creative and innovative things to do, and we encourage all neighborhoods to continue to apply for this grant," Hooks said.
Turner said not many people know about the Sky Lake area, and she hopes this change shines a light on neighbors looking out for their own.
"This is one of Frayser's well-kept secrets, and we don't want to be a secret, but we want it to be safe," she said.
The city's billboard indicates that interested neighborhoods should call 636-6628. Grant recipients have a year to complete their crime prevention project.