Acres Homes residents taking stand against crime


The group is still in its infancy but they're committed to letting criminals know they're not welcome in Acres Homes.

L&L Barber Shop has been in business in Acres Homes for 73 years. Gertha Hayward has been there for 50 of those years; she hears all the neighborhood gossip.

"To stay in business, you have to hear nothing, see nothing and know nothing," Hayward said.

What she does know is how to stay in business. There is no sign out front but there is constant traffic.

"It's from generation-to-generation clients, you know," Hayward said.

Some things never change. What has changed is the neighborhood. Crime is up.

"There was a time when I would leave the door open. When I come now in the morning, I lock the door, the burglar bar," Hayward said.

Hayward finds the time to mentor battered women and their children, but knows more can be done. Neighbors agree.

"We would like to see more patrolman here, make seniors feel much safer," Acres Homes resident Margiemell Bailey said.

Led by Pastor Timothy Dixon, a new alliance called Acres Homes Proud wants to reduce crime in Acres Homes by bringing together local businesses, schools, churches and law enforcement.

"We want business to encourage our kids that you can bloom and blossom where you are," Dixon said.

Burns Original Barbecue was among the first businesses to volunteer to partner with the alliance, and as others join, residents believe this community will remain a place where children can have a bright future.

The group is holding a rally at 3pm Sunday at MC Williams Elementary School to help spread the word.

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