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'If we work together, we can make it better': Frayser residents alert code enforcement of blight challenges

Monthly meetings are intended to make the community cleaner and safer.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Monday, longtime Frayser residents were fed up and fought back about illegal dumping and other issues impacting their community.

During the hybrid in-person and virtual meeting, those in Frayser updated code enforcement about specific problems at specific addresses and urged their fellow neighbors to also speak up about blight on their blocks.

The fight is both passionate and personal for longtime Frayser neighbor, Debra Lovelace.

"I care about Frayser, I care about my home, I'm vested here," she told ABC24 after the meeting wrapped.

Lovelace wears that investment proudly on her sleeve, in the community and the street she's lived on for nearly three decades. 

"Senior citizens would like to live in peace, beautification so to speak, it don't have to be beautiful but it needs to be clean," Lovelace added.

Keeping Frayser clean and safe is the focus of that monthly meeting, held Monday afternoon and with code enforcement on hand.

"This forum is very important not only for us as the residents of Frayser but just for Memphis period," Frayser community ambassador Tiffany Clay said.

ABC24 listened in, as Lovelace and others in Frayser rattled off their blight related concerns, one by one.

"There's a burned out tire shop, it definitely is open to casual entry, you can see through," Charia Jackson of Frayser said during the meeting.

"The house that is directly across in front of me, their backyard looks like a  jungle," Pearlie Richardson added.

Code enforcement and meeting organizers also updated ongoing cases of longstanding blight problems being heard in Shelby County Environmental Court.

They asked the public do their part in reporting blight or illegal dumping by calling 311.

"Tune in, reach out to those officials, voice those concerns, be an advocate for the Frayser area," Clay said.

Lovelace said the littered streets also impact Frayser's broader identity.

"I don't think it just looks bad, I think that it has an effect on the people period," Lovelace said.

The next meeting will be held at noon at the Frayser Connect community center for those interested in attending in person.

If you are interested in attending that meeting virtually, contact Tiffany Clay at tclay@fraysercdc.org.


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