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Common Ground focusing on Center Street revitalization one year after Sherman Park unrest

Common Ground was in Sherman Park before the fires and looting of August 2016 and its still there pushing forward with plans to build up the neighborhood.

Started nine years ago, its focus in the immediate future is revitalizing Center Street.

Whether it's getting rid of eyesores, rehabbing homes for families or renovating the field at Washington High School, Keisha Krumm of Common Ground tells CBS 58 News that it is vital to let the young people know the community cares.

"Washington High School is a gem of the Sherman Park neighborhood," Krumm told the CBS 58 News at 4. "We're committed to revitalizing the outdoor athletic field. We believe our kids deserve great things. We're in the process of raising $500,000 to upgrade that field."

Krumm admits that they would like to have seen assistance come in sooner for the kind of change that can really make an impact. But signs of promise are there.

"We never quit, we never go away. Our community is really struggling. Our job is to keep people focused and continue to develop relationships between the city and the banks and the people of the community."

Common Ground Board Member Ciara Davis is pastor of the Invisible Reality Ministries at 54th and Center. She says she has no worried of a repeat of the lawlessness of last year.  

"Our voices have been heard," said Pastor Davis. "The issues are now out on the forefront. So, people see it now."

But both women say the anger that has been displayed in the community is a feeling of powerlessness that still persists.

"From a year, I would say we're not there yet," acknowledged Pastor Davis. "We still have a lot of work to do. There's a majority of African American men, not just younger, but older, who are still unemployed. Wanting and asking for jobs and its seems none are avaialble at this time." 

To see more of Common Ground's work in action click here

For more on Invisible Realities Ministries click here

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