Locals also shared the negative side of Garfield and Penn Avenue with us.
There is no Garfield identity. It is a hidden place.
There is little diversity.
Garfield’s houses and the buildings along Penn Avenue are in poor condition. There are too many vacant buildings, too much blight and vacant land. There are too many absentee landlords who don’t care about Garfield and won’t sell.
The neighborhood is littered with trash and weeds. There is too much crime.
There is a deep need for a range of shops – flower, bank, grocery, cafés, barbershops, beauty shops, dry cleaners, soul food and more There is little diversity in the businesses on Penn Avenue. There are no black entrepreneurs and there is no local economy.
There is a lack of sports and family friendly facilities. There is no good field to play on, no swimming pool and no family friendly restaurant.
There is no access to computers. People have no access to information. Without access they cannot find jobs or start businesses. Purposeless and jobless young people are a challenge. It is hard to instill pride and hope in the young people.
While the arts is recognized as a positive influence, the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative has had a divisive effect. It doesn’t belong to Garfield. There is no real invitation into the art galleries to the community.
People feel left out.