West Side Residents Unite to Make Their Streets Safer and Stronger

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Gunshots, drugs, fear and crime tape. For many living on Rockford’s west side, these negatives can be a daily reality. But hundreds of residents - along with the city's crime fighters - say enough is enough, and they're doing something about it.

It's called Weed and Seed; weeding out the problems, and planting the seeds for change and better neighborhoods.

Weed and Seed is a federal grant program intended to make cities stronger and safer.
City leaders are working to get grant dollars, but even without the money in hand, they're working with residents to clean up their streets.

Tuesday night, more than 100 area residents gave their ideas at Lewis Lemon School.
Most agreed absentee landlords, gangs and drugs are constant concerns on the west side.

However, police and residents pointed out that to change the problems, neighborhood activism is more important than ever.

"I grew up in this neighborhood and I don't remember any of this stuff. We used to run from house to house, from block to block, and not have our parents be worried. But now, my son wants to ride his bike and I won't let him because I’m afraid of what may happen while he's riding," Takisha Roberson said.

Now, the proposed area for the Weed and Seed crime strategy would be at Avon Street on the east, Johnston Street on the west, State Street on the south and School s=Street on the north.