Hard work.  Dedication.

Just a few words I am using to describe the newly formed Project Hope group working in downtown Manchester.

If you’ve been in downtown Manchester lately you can’t help but notice what a difference they’re making.

To date, they’ve painted three buildings, picked up over 100 bags of garbage and are working their way through the city cleaning and making our town something to be proud of.

This group was started by Stevie and Danielle Collins, two Manchester residents that were tired of seeing their town look bad.

Danielle made a post on Facebook talking about how something needed done.  Not only did she voice her opinion, she stepped up to the challenge along with her husband and they’re making a difference.

The post she made gave birth to the group which now has over 25 members willing to volunteer their time and knowledge to help clean up our town.

I can’t applaud them enough for their hard work.  Instead of complaining on social media like many do, they decided to put forth an effort to make a change.

This group is working off donations from property owners to help enhance their building.  On Sunday, the group placed a new porch rail on an apartment as you enter town above the car wash.  

Not only is this group doing a great work, they’re motivating others to help clean up the areas they live in also.

This is the true epitome of community spirit in my opinion.  Different people from all walks of life are coming together for one common goal-to improve their hometown.

This group is also working closely with the city of Manchester to make sure all building codes and city ordinances are enforced.

Those two things will go a long way in helping turn Manchester into a cleaner more presentable city.

A huge task to tackle in downtown Manchester is the old Creech Apartment building.  The building now belongs to the city of Manchester and is used as a dump for clothing from God’s Closet customers.  Apparently numerous people visit the center and obtain free clothing.  Instead of washing their clothes, they’re discarding them in the Creech building and going back for more.  The building is also littered with needles.

The building is not boarded up, but Mayor James Ed Garrison said the city would be doing that soon.  But, in my opinion, the boards won’t last long as they’ll be pried away, and people will enter the building again.

The only solution is to tear down this building.  It’s without doubt the biggest eyesore in the city limits of Manchester.  I know saying tear it down is easier said than done, but the city and county need to find a way to make this happen in a joint effort.

Leaders of our city and county, you should start looking for a solution immediately as I don’t foresee Project Hope backing off their goal of cleaning up downtown Manchester.

For too long, we’ve not enforced our city ordinances which has allowed things like this to happen.  Now is not a time to point fingers and who done what.    Now is the time to move forward, follow the ordinances that are set in stone and hold property owners accountable.

Recommended for you