ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- In two short weeks, hundreds of volunteers will dedicate thousands of hours of labor to help clean up the city.
For 10 years Project 1013 has been cleaning up communities and bringing them together.
“We want the people to come out, not only to do the work, but to build relationships,” says project manager Pastor Randy Young.
Volunteers help with lawn work, cleaning up debris and painting blighted homes.
The families they are helping may not have the means to make these changes on their own.
“If you are having a hard time getting food on your table, you're not really worried about the dandelions in your front yard,” says West Gateway Coalition President Bob Esmond.
The project takes place on the 24 square block of the Ellis Heights neighborhood.
Leaders hope fixing up the area will lead to a safer and stronger community.
“We are starting to open up lines of sight between houses and streets, it makes it hard for criminal activity to thrive in that environment,” says Esmond.
More visibility helps promote a safer environment.
“If you take away places for them to hide, then the crime will hopefully go down,” says Pastor Young.
The goal is not just about cutting down trees, but cutting down barriers as well.
“If we build relationships and people feel comfortable with each other, they are going to help each other out,” says Pastor Young.
Project 1013 hopes that by being proactive in our communities, we will set strong foundation for our future generations.
"As the youth, this will be our city in a few years,” says youth volunteer Carter Young. “We need to focus on cleaning it up and when we inherit we need to know what we are going to do with it."
Project 1013 is down in volunteer numbers this year. If you would like to learn more information on how you can help, visit the Project 1013 website