Pastor gets city to clean up crime-ridden abandoned home

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A local pastor is cleaning up an abandoned, crime-ridden home.

"Homero Rodriguez was a World War II veteran," said Scott Cox. "He served our country on Okinawa, he helped build some of the air stripes in Okinawa."

Unfortunately, the WWII vet left his story behind inside a home in the 7800 block of Harrisburg. It has been abandoned for five years.

"I've tried to get the city to come out here," said Cox. "It's a health hazard as well as an eyesore."

Cox works across the street and he knew Rodriguez before he died. He's seen first-hand the illegal activity that goes on inside.

"We found used needles, syringes, condoms," he said, "fecal matter and urination."

To make matters worse, the house sits between a church and its parking lot. Pastor Armando Perez is fed up.

"I want [the city to] demolish the house," he told Eyewitness News.

On Friday, the a city crew spent all morning cleaning up the place and boarding it up.

"I'm stoked. I'm happy for these guys," said Cox, who has been working with the pastor to get the city to help.

The Department of Neighborhoods said it is dealing with a long list of cases.

"Don't lose hope -- continue to call it in through 311 allow us give us the opportunity to investigate," said Reggie Harris with the city.

It's a long legal process, said Harris, but eventually what's left of Rodriguez' home may be demolished and put up for sale.

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