Neighbors on West Side of Charleston, WV want major changes - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors on West Side of Charleston, WV want major changes

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West Side neighbors want change. West Side neighbors want change.
CHARLESTON, West Virginia -
"If you don't get involved, nobody can do anything," said West Side resident, Nancy Crouch.  The West Side of Charleston has seen it's fair share of problems.  In a meeting held Thursday night, neighbors said they want to tackle those issues.  

It took place at Stonewall Jackson Middle School.  Community members said this was a way for them to get face to face with police officers to make this part of Charleston a better place to live.  Crouch was raised here.  She said she's fed up.  "So many of the younger people are out there selling their drugs," she said.  "They don't work. I'd like to be out there driving some of the cars that they have."

At some points, the meeting got pretty heated.  While drugs remained a hot topic, the debate kept going back to getting the slum lords out and businesses in.  "You have to capitalize on the aspects you have that are already in place," said Ric Cavender, the Executive Director of Charleston's East End Main Street.  

Many neighbors who attended the meeting said if the East End could transform, they can do it too.  Cavender agrees.  "Research your history." he said.  "What made you commercial corridor, your neighborhood, what made it that?  What made it what it was?" 

He said once you figure that out, you go from there and build on it.  The first step, though, is to want to made a change and these neighbors said they're ready.  "Maybe we can get some new people to move here and we can start up some new businesses," Crouch said.  

Neighbors said what they'd like to do first is to get many of the abandoned homes torn down in their community.  They said they do plan on making calls to the building commission to make that happen.