BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several cleanup efforts are still going on after this week’s riot on Monday. One group saw its volunteer list morph from a handful of people to hundreds looking to give back to the city.
Gigi Barnett has more on the cleanups that are bringing neighbors together.
The destruction that came from looters this week disappears at community cleanups happening across the city since Monday’s riots. One of the weekend’s street sweeps was at the St. Francis Community Center in Reservoir Hill, just blocks away from one of the most destructive riots.
“I was worried that this building was going to get burned down or something like that. Luckily, a lot of the worst damage was on the perimeter of this area,” said organizer Torbin Green.
Green works at the St. Francis Center. His volunteer list includes students, Marines and some Baltimore businesses who are planting gardens, picking up trash and removing brush and debris. He turned to social media to get the word out.
“Through the grapevine and Facebook, everybody wanted to be a part of this. There are so many groups coming in,” Green said.
Two months ago, organizers say its volunteer list for this cleanup was only about 30 people. After this week’s riot, it swelled to more than 200 people.
“Community building in any small step is really building towards any great conclusion,” said volunteer Isabella Bowker.
That’s one reason why Johns Hopkins students Isabella Bowker and Samuel Kebede are putting in some sweat towards the cleanup. This gets closure to the most effected neighborhoods for healing.
“This violence just didn’t start on Monday. It’s always been going on and people have just been trying to show that we’re part of this community,” said Kebede. “We’re trying to help.”
St. Francis Community Center says it’s organizing another cleanup day soon.