Neighbors propose idea for 'gang headquarters' in Shawnee - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Neighbors propose idea for 'gang headquarters' in Shawnee

The home sits on the corner of Larken and Cecil Avenues.  (Source: WAVE 3 News) The home sits on the corner of Larken and Cecil Avenues. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Lanita Gant (Source: WAVE 3 News) Lanita Gant (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ahmaad Edmund (Source: WAVE 3 News) Ahmaad Edmund (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Neighbors surrounded the run-down house Friday afternoon. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Neighbors surrounded the run-down house Friday afternoon. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Neighbors in Shawnee surrounded a vacant home in a crime-stricken neighborhood on Friday demanding for the city to listen.

The home sits on the corner of Larken and Cecil Avenues. Neighbors say the house is a "headquarters for gang activity."

Louisville's crime maps reveal 12 incidents reports filed by police, within 500 feet of the house, in the last six months. Those reports include burglary, assault, car theft and vandalism.

Thursday afternoon, neighbors planned to demand the house be torn down by the city, but now they've come up with a different idea.

"It's a gang headquarters," West Louisville Urban Coalition's President Neal Robinson said. "This is their headquarters, this is where they come do their meetings."

PREVIOUS STORY: Neighbors demand demolition of 'gang headquarters'

As promised, neighbors surrounded the run-down house Friday afternoon.

"They found two guns here, a couple of purses they had snatched and some stolen lawn equipment," Robinson said.

Day care owner Lanita Gant lives down the street from the vacant house and passes it on her drive into work each morning. This week, trouble lingered right outside of her business.

"My van was vandalized Wednesday night by a kid in the neighborhood," Gant said.

A teenager threw his body into the van, leaving dents, according to Gant.  

When she walks down the street and looks at the house, and others like it, she understands the problem.

"You look at this house here and it's like nobody cares," Gant said. "I think this house here is a reflection of how the kids see themselves."

The group decided against demolishing the house. Instead, they want to use it as a project.

"A lot of these kids don't know how to build, period," Gant said. "This would be a good start, learn how to pour concrete, learn how to put windows in, flooring in, learn how to paint."

Ahmaad Edmund, 17, grew up in the Shawnee neighborhood and his grandparents live down the street from the troubled house. He said he sees the problem.

"If I had to answer for my fellow peers, I would say we need someone to listen to us instead of talk at us," Edmund said. "How about you just take a minute to listen."

This transformation is impossible without the city listening, according to Gant.

"If the city would give us some help, come to the west end to see what it is," Gant said. "Give us what we need to clean up these houses."

The neighbors understand that the man power to fix the home must come from volunteers. Anyone interested in donating time and material, can contact Neal Robinson, 502-664-0780.

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