That satisfied feeling—when the dishes are done, the counters are wiped, the floors mopped and vacuumed—was something that Bayview residents could feel about their whole neighborhood last Sunday.
From 8:30 in the morning until the afternoon, residents joined with members of Gallery Church to pull weeds, pick up trash and sweep debris throughout the neighborhood.
“We filled up a dumpster,” said Justin Davis, a resident of Folcroft St. and Gallery Church member who spearheaded the Bayview clean-up.
Gallery Church has a location near Patterson Park, at 3115 Eastern Ave., along with other locations across the country. Among the volunteers was a group from the church’s Kernersville, N.C., location, near Greensboro.
“We’re here to love on the people of Baltimore,” said Kathy Smith as she got ready to pull weeds.
Smith also noted that the pastor of Gallery Church in Baltimore, Ellis Prince, and her pastor were college roommates.
“We bring a big group every year,” she added.
City Uprising included other events across Baltimore, including on-the-spot HIV testing and community clean-ups across the Southeast.
Bayview residents were particularly happy with the effort, and particularly happy to join in.
“We had neighbors out who couldn’t believe what was going on,” said Davis. “It renewed their energy…I think everybody was happy to see something was happening; the neighborhood was kind of moving forward again.
Showing up bright and early were the police officers of the Southeast District’s Neighborhood Services Unit, including Sgt. Kevin Bailey as well as officers Rosa Ramirez and Lynea Wiley, and the district’s second-in-command, Capt. Kevin Jones. Officer Kevin Crowley, who patrols the Bayview beat, also contributed to the effort.
“It was amazing—they were the muscle,” said Bayview resident Janine Coye. “They stayed for hours.”
Several Bayview residents see great potential in their neighborhood, and see events such as City Uprising as a way of getting there.
Anna Nikoletos-Asmar said that her neighborhood could be the next Canton, in terms of desirability. She pointed out that the raw materials are all there.
“I’m excited for today,” she said. “There are a lot of good people in this community.”
by Erik Zygmont