Councilor Launches Bold Initiative to Improve 61st & Peoria
The crime was staggering. Four women shot to death in an apartment complex surrounded with the appearance of safety, a massive fence, a gated entrance. Structures which now look as flimsy as tissue paper when confronted with the areas underlying adversary of poverty.
"We want to really work with this neighborhood," said Dr. Lanny Endicott, Director of Social Work at ORU. He already works in the area, helping 400 families a month with food, but that's just one piece of the puzzle towards progress.
"There are little programs here, little programs here, and little ones here, but we'd like to have a more coordinated effort in what we do here as well," he said.
Enter Tulsa city councilor Jeannie Cue.
"If you could see the possibilities in this area, I think people would be amazed," she said.
To bring out those possibilities, she's organizing a task force to look at building a comprehensive social service center.
"The goal is to improve the living conditions for the people in this area," she said.
"That includes recreation, includes food program, includes GED program," said Dr. Endicott.
Where would such a facility be built?
"If we could get three acres at Johnson park," said Councilor Cue.
Funding, she says would be through private donations and grants, nothing from the city, except the valuable know-how of volunteers to make it happen.
"It's gonna take our whole city to get involved so one of my big pushes is, if you're retired and you're an accountant, you're a grant writer, please come out and join us," she said.
A bold initiative fueled by the memory of four women who lost their lives behind an illusion of security.
"It's time to go, it's time to move this thing forward, because this area is not changing for the better as we speak," said Dr. Endicott.