DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The city of Dothan has embraced the Love Dothan campaign that is designed to help programs across the city.
Under the Love Dothan campaign is an initiative called Love Your Neighborhood, this is a program to improve the condition and appearance of older declining neighborhoods in the city. This initiative is getting started with improvements to one Dothan neighborhood.
“This is all part of the love Dothan campaign, love your neighbor, love your neighborhood. We want to take an opportunity to help our neighborhoods help themselves,” Dothan City Manager, Kevin Cowper said.
Love Your Neighborhood is an intensive cleanup program, that will use city resources to help revitalize, reenergize, and stabilize neighborhoods.
“The first clean up will be Baptist Bottom,” Cowper said. “We are going to bring a lot of city resources from a lot of different departments into that neighborhood and help clean up the infrastructure that is there. The sidewalks the streets, the streetlights, the street signs the fire hydrants, anything and everything that is part of the public infrastructure, we want it to be in good working condition and looking good.”
Cowper says they plan to help neighbors by cleaning up yards and removing junk. They also plan to make the neighborhood safe and secure by building relationships with the bottom baptist community.
“This is about connecting government resources to neighborhoods, and to the larger community, the volunteers, the churches, the civic groups are going to be a big part of this campaign,” Cowper said.
One community staple in the Baptist Bottom neighborhood is Aunt Katies Community Garden. The organization gives community members a way to have access to healthy food and shelter.
“I think the poverty level is upwards of 65-75%, it’s a very high poverty rate,” Said Program Director of Aunt Katies Community Garden, Latasha Hyatt. “We have a lot of men that are coming out of jail systems, we have like homeless people, the demographic is predominately African American in this community.”
According to Hyatt, this was a thriving economic community in the 50’s and 60’s, and the hope is that the love your neighborhood initiative will help bring the community back to that level.
“Whatever we can do to make people who live in this neighborhood feel good, feel better about living in this neighborhood I should say,” Hyatt said.
At the Love Dothan campaign meeting held Tuesday nigth, the city announced they plan to move forward with a cleanup day on august 15th. They are looking for volunteers to get involved and help clean up the community.