CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Folks in one Cleveland neighborhood are trying to bring people back to the area, despite the poverty, crime and dwindling population that troubles many communities.
Some believe Slavic Village still has a lot to offer and can be rebuilt, as long as people are invested.
“Slavic Village got a lot of attention some years back because this community was ground zero in the country for number of foreclosures per census track, and it’s still one of the poorest cities in Ohio--not just Northeast but in all of Ohio," said Earl Pike, University Settlement executive director.
But over the last few years, some have been working to turn that around.
Nonprofit University Settlement, kicked off it’s “Homecoming Weekend” Thursday, in the hopes of bringing folks back home to see some of the changes.
There’s a luncheon, forum, workshop, movie night and community clean-up planned over the next couple of days.
Pike says they want to spotlight what Slavic Village is achieving not just what they’ve endured.
“There’s a fierceness of spirit here that’s hard to bottle. People here are tough. People here are resilient, people here have grit. They help each other and they’re rebuilding the community," said Pike.
One of the goals is to bring some of the natives back home but also to introduce newbies to what is happening in the area.
Grace Wright works in Slavic Village and says it's all about staying connected to your roots, even if you don't live there anymore.
“I think when you work in it and you’re here everyday, you really see that there’s kind of this image that doesn’t really reflect what’s happening in Slavic Village," she said.
For a list of the “Homecoming Weekend” events, click here.