HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A group of women in Harrisburg have launched a grassroots revitalization effort called the East Uptown Front Porch Project.
The goal is to spruce up Sixth Street and make it a welcoming place for community members to spend time together.
The project team is fundraising to help 23 families fix up their front porches for free.
Members want to show people care about making uptown Harrisburg a safe and friendly place to be.
“We’ve got a lot of activity Midtown and downtown, but Uptown seems to have been skipped over,” said Beck Joyner, the founder of the East Uptown Front Porch Project.
Local realtors, property managers and members of Camp Curtin Neighborhood United went door-knocking to find the 23 families excited to accept their help.
“When you’ve got people sitting on the porch, it’s going to be a safer neighborhood because you’ve got more eyes out there,” said Stephanie Rector of R & S Property Solutions, who is volunteering with the project.
“Spend some time sitting outside and saying hi to people and getting to know people,” said Joyner. “That way, we start to rebuild that sense of community that used to exist here.”
“To not to be afraid to come out in front of their front porch and to engage with one another so that we can come together to take back control of our community,” said Joyce Vanderhorst-Gamble, of Camp Curtin Neighborhood United.
The work, which will cost thousands, will include various ways to beautify the facades of homes, like foundation repairs, painting, street planting and even adding porch furniture.
“You see that up there where the squirrels are getting in the house and the fence is falling in. It doesn’t look like a pleasant area,” Rector said. “It looks scary, where it’s not. There’s actually a lot of homeowners on this block.”
The women are designing build teams and hope to get the work done in the spring.
“We’re lucky to find a resource in a Habit for Humanity as well. They’re going to be supplying us with 100 volunteers,” said Joyner.
“We’re calling any volunteers, local businesses, local charities to come out and join forces with us on this project,” said Tami Dykes, a local realtor who is volunteering with the project.
Anyone interested in helping out is asked to reach out on the project’s Facebook page.