Gary homes demolished as way to fight crime
September 19, 2013 (GARY, Ind.) (WLS) -- A new effort to stop the violence is underway in northwest Indiana as thousands of homes and commercial buildings in Gary are being demolished as a way to fight crime.
The stories of lives lived in Ms. Brewer's old house came to an end Thursday.
Ms. Brewer passed away many years ago and recently the house had become a spot for drinking parties, attracting people outside the neighborhood.
Longtime resident Wendell Harris Sr. hopes this signals a positive change his block of Gary.
"It's disheartening, but the main thing you know you can see things are coming back this way," he said.
The city of Gary has demolished several buildings on Harris' block and they'd like to do many more.
"We want to honor the folks who have remained in the neighborhoods, who maintain their properties by taking care of these problem properties for them," said Joe Van Dyk, director of redevelopment.
But the city still burdened by the divestment after steel mill jobs left and a recent recession, doesn't have the money to tear down the more than 10,000 abandoned buildings.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich grew up on the west side of Gary and says he's now witnessing a rapid increase in serious crime centered around abandoned buildings.
"They're using it for hangouts, headquarters that sort of thing," he said. "Plus it's just destroying the neighborhoods as a whole and it's just getting to the point now where it's become a very serious situation."
He's joining the city's efforts to get help.
This week he sent a letter Indiana's governor requesting resources to demolition abandoned buildings in Gary.
Harris has lived on the block since 1946. He hopes more tear downs will make way for a new beginning for Gary.
"The deterioration, you know, it's kind of sickening, but I know we are coming back," he said. "I know after we tear down we are going to renew, that's the main thing."
Indiana's Department of Corrections has already provided help taken down five abandoned homes.
But there are thousands of homes on the list to be demolished and the symbol of the problem is the old hotel across from Gary City Hall.
The city of Gary will take bids on that demolition next month.
The troublesome abandoned buildings are both commercial and residential.
indiana news, leah hope
- 2 winter storms take aim at Chicago area 30 min ago
- Missing Michigan doctor's car found in Indiana
- Video: I-Team Mall Security
- ABC7 Weather Forecast 32 min ago
- Bogus Target charges may not appear for months 57 min ago
- Woman charged after 30 dogs removed from home 50 min ago
- Dixon to receive $9.2M restitution in Crundwell case 26 min ago
- Maine West coach hazing trial put on hold until January
- 2 men killed within blocks of each other in South Shore
- No CO detectors in Skokie apartments where people sickened
- Indiana Toll Road reopened after truck rollover
- Elkhart native killed in NATO helicopter crash in Afghanistan
- Aurora pastor gets 12 years in prison
- abcnews: 'Duck Dynasty' Puts Star on Hiatus
- ABC7 Weather Forecast
32 min ago
- 2 winter storms take aim at Chicago area
30 min ago
- Man thought to be Gacy victim reunited with...
34 min ago