This piece was written by one of the adult learners enrolled in Education/Workforce training at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries. She is a 30-something, African American woman who is seeking to improve her employability skills. Here is her perspective on the changes happening in Walnut Hills. (This piece is being submitted with the author’s permission.)
I have been a resident of Walnut Hills since 1995. During the years I lived in different areas of the neighborhood. And I have seen the many phases that it has endured. Once a viable neighborhood, Walnut Hills fell victim to drugs, homicide and other illegal activities.
Admittedly, there were times when I did not like living in Walnut Hills. Sometimes I would be uncomfortable walking down the street. On a few occasions I have been approached by unsavory characters. Unfortunately, there are people that I know that have been affected on some level by the illegal activities that have taken place. Over time the community began to suffer. It was obvious. Businesses started to shut down. The community was littered with abandoned buildings, people were subjected to unnecessary cruelty. Sadly we began to fear one another. I was not used to living in a place like that and I am sure I was not the only one.
Presently, there has been some progress in the neighborhood. Drug dealers no longer exist on street corners. Abandoned buildings have been replaced. New businesses will be opening, which means employment opportunities for residents. There is clearly a revitalization coming on. It looks good and it feels good.
Walnut Hills is home to me. I like living here. I am minutes away from school. Kroger’s and CVS are directly around the corner from my house. There are banking centers, gas stations, convenience stores and cellular phone stores on either end of McMillan. Also, there are a host of restaurants and fast food joints.
It feels good to know that the residents of Walnut Hills care about the community and decided to do something about it. The neighborhood is improving on all fronts. Everyone is investing something on a personal level. I hope that things will continue to improve for the betterment of everyone.