COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The neighborhoods of Hilltop and Linden may be across the city from one another, but they share some common problems.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther spent some time discussing how to help these two neighborhoods during his inaugural State of the City address on Wednesday night.
“There’s a lot of people being killed for no reason and then people on drugs and it’s just a mess,” Charleace Barnes said.
Barnes moved to Columbus a year ago from Florida. She doesn’t live far from Linden and said the area could be rough at night.
“By 8 o’clock, I’m usually in the house,” Barnes said.
Community leaders in Linden and Hilltop told NBC4 fixing problems will take a comprehensive approach.
“If we address them piecemeal, it’s almost like putting a Bandaid on a bigger cut,” said donna Hicho, executive director of the Greater Linden Development Corporation. “But if you address it correctly, it can heal and it can be better than it was before.”
Rosa Freeman, a grandmother to 11 boys, said her daughter and son both live in the Linden area and that help from the city could be big.
“It needs some improvement,” Freeman said. “A little bit always helps.”
“They’re trying to keep [their sons] from the streets, basically,” Freeman said of her children. “That’s basically what it is, you know. Just trying to maintain. Everybody’s trying to maintain.”
Over in Hilltop, Gregory Carpenter told NBC4 he thought the city could help with employment resources.
“People need jobs,” Carpenter said. “You got Burger King and White Castle and everything else, you know what I mean. Put some more warehouse jobs around, so where people [don’t have] to travel so far.”
Carpenter moved back to Ohio from Arizona six months ago to be near his family. He told NBC4 he had been working in Worthington but is now out of work.
“Sometimes it can be stressful, but I keep a level head on my shoulders,” Carpenter said. “All I can do is take it one day at a time.”
Despite the problems in these neighborhoods, community leaders said Linden and Hilltop have a lot to offer.
“We have a richness here,” Hicho said. “And if we combine that richness with some resources from the outside, we can make this neighborhood what it used to be and better.”