Local group wants artists to paint boarded up homes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A local group is looking for artists and volunteers to help make boarded up, abandoned homes in South Bend more appealing. They hope to reduce crime through art.

The Neighborhood Resources Corporation wants to match local artists with vacant and abandoned homes. The artists will paint the boards used to close up the homes to make them less of an eyesore.

"It's a way to make the properties more attractive and improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods while we're waiting for something more permanent to happen," said Diana Hess of the Neighborhood Resources Corporation.

Hess says South Bend will be the first city in the country to try something like this in a neighborhood.

Cincinnati tested the concept in its business district with positive results.

"There was an 18-20 percent reduction in graffiti and vandalism, "said Hess.

Organizers hope the same thing will happen in South Bend.

"We're hoping too that the neighbors will come forth and start volunteering to help mow the lawn and take care of the property around it as well," said Hess.

The project is set to take place in early March, so there's still time to sign up.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to the Spring Forward initiative, click here to send them an email [email protected].

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