City-wide initiative aims to bring change one neighborhood at a time

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Team Up to Clean Up is a city-wide initiative focused on making tangible changes to neighborhoods.

"I'm feeling the positive energy,” Dawn Downing, NIA president of Ward Meade, said. “They are glad that we are doing something. They are glad that they are seeing action steps."

"Team Up to Clean Up is about marshalling all of the resources the city has to a particular neighborhood in order to try to make a significant impact on what the neighborhood looks like, and provide the services in a much more concentrated way,” City Manager Brent Trout said.

As part of the program, the city keeps its regular schedule of providing maintenance and services across town — but for one to two months, they focus heavily on a specific neighborhood.

"The idea being that you draw a certain boundary, then you can impact that neighborhood in a much greater way,” Trout said.

This month, the city has poured resources into the Ward Meade neighborhood, and resident Shirley Darby says she's noticed improvements.

"I'm glad to see it, because a lot of the people in this neighborhood can't afford to do it themselves."

Monday evening, the initiative brought the resource fair to Westside Baptist Church where community programs shared what they have to offer residents in a one-stop shop.

"These people have come to the residents, instead of the residents having to go to these different areas, and some of them don't even have transportation,” Downing said.

It's one part of a program aimed at bringing positive change, even after it's over.

"This just gives us the drive to want to do more,” Downing said.