Franklinton looks to clean up neighborhood while creating jobs

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A local organization is looking to start an initiative that tackles two issues plaguing the Franklinton community, homelessness and litter.

“We often have a lot of illegal dumping that happens in our alleys it will often get blown around and end up being a problem everywhere,” said Trent Smith, Executive Director of the Franklinton Board of Trade.

Since moving to Franklinton about a decade ago, Smith says he has seen the neighborhood transform. He says there are new businesses, homes and residents, but the issue of homelessness and litter persist.

Smith says the Franklinton Trade Board is hoping to pay homeless people $10 an hour to clean up homeless camps and the surrounding neighborhood.

“We are just trying to figure out how to make them better neighbors and how we become better neighbors to them," said Smith.

The project would also involve other local organizations like Mount Camel Health and Jordan’s Crossing to serve as resources for participants.

Smith says the Franklinton Trade Board hopes to start the project with 50 people, for six-hour shifts, one day a week. The board has approached Columbus City Council for $50,000 to start the project.

Calls to council for an update on a decision to fund the project have not been returned.

Smith says the hope is to have Franklinton businesses help fund the project after year one.

“It’s not just about putting money in their pockets it’s about providing some dignity and the feeling that they are part of the process in the neighborhood,” Smith said.

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