Families, police go door-to-door at west Columbus apartments to cut down on crime
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Crime has been spiking in recent months at the Wedgewood Apartments on the west side of Columbus.
Sunday morning, families and Columbus Police walked the neighborhood to try and cut down on crime. Young people and families are working to make a change.
"Now, we have about 52 students coming here every Tuesday to receive homework help," said Samira Mohamud, who lives at the Wedgewood Apartments.
Mohamud is 17 years old and has lived at the complex for about six years.
An area known for violence and crime, she and her neighbors have set up a reading program, tutoring kids at the apartments.
"Let's say five percent of the people here are bad, 95 percent of them are good. They just lose hope and they don't know how to act anymore and I am glad that we are all working together," said Mohamud.
She is doing something, and she's not alone. On Sunday community members, volunteers and Columbus police went door-to-door, talking to families about reporting crimes and cleaning up the area.
"We don't tolerate deterioration of the neighborhood. We don't tolerate crime anytime," said Commander Scott Hyland, who is the Patrol Commander for the west side.
Commander Hyland said the grassroots effort sends a message and is needed in the Wedgewood area.
"The issue that stands out in Wedgewood is we had seven homicides this year to date in what is a relatively small area specific to the apartment complex," said Commander Hyland.
The city is sitting at well over 120 homicides so far this year.
Organizers believe a so-called spruce-up day like this can make a difference, with the help of young people and families.
"They are saying that we will make sure that our children are safe and they are in a healthy and safe environment," said organizer Zerqa Abid with MY Project USA. "I think that is a huge thing. I have not seen more strong, beautiful moms than these people who are coming out today."
This isn't a one-time thing. The group plans to do clean-ups often and help neighbors. They want to keep the area clean and drug-free, and help the largely Somali community navigate life in Columbus.