Residents working to improve Keller Park neighborhood

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- The Keller Park neighborhood has dealt with its fair share of crime through the years. But now community leaders are taking big steps to turn it around.

"You got some neighbors that don't care, but you got some neighbors that do care. And you got to bring the ones that do care together," said Bootsie Walker, vice-president, Keller Park Neighborhood Association.

And that's what she's doing in hopes of turning the neighborhood around. The first item on her agenda: a block party funded with money from the Neighborhood Resource Corporation.

"They've helped us out a lot and that's basically what we're doing. We're trying to clean up our neighborhood and make everybody realize that we're here," said Walker.

They want to stop the crime that's plagued the area for years by increasing the lighting on the streets, creating more activities for the youth and using volunteers to patrol the area each night.

"We're trying to get the breaking and entering to stop, we're trying to get the vacant homes stop being broken into," said Walker.

There are 36 neighborhood associations in the city of South Bend, but only a third of them are active.

"We think that neighborhood associations, neighbors working together out in the community, being active really helps deter crime, improve safety and ultimately make for a better community," said Diana Hess, director, Neighborhood Resources Corporation.

Jean Borders has lived in Keller Park for 38 years. She's anxious for the new watch program to  start up in August.

"Different ones are either driving the neighborhood or walking the neighborhood- people that are retired. young people that are out of school right now," said Borders.

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