Neighbors Hope Spotlight Will Stay On 'Extreme' Community
TV Makeover Included Neighborhood As Well
7:38 AM, May 18, 2009
Indianapolis' struggling Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood took center stage during Sunday's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" season finale, but residents said they hope the spotlight doesn't fade now that the cameras are gone.Thousands of volunteers joined with the crew of the ABC show to build a new home and library for Bernard McFarland, a single father of three who runs a group for area youth.The east side neighborhood itself also received a makeover, with volunteers painting homes, tearing down abandoned homes and planting trees.Many of the residents who watched the transformation on Oxford Street firsthand told 6News' Renee Jameson that they've seen neighbors taking more pride in the area since the show was shot."It was a real boost for the community in spirit, as well as in some of the changes that needed to be made for the community," said resident George Allen. "I think it gave a big time incentive to some who felt like this part of the community was being left out."Still, grass and weeds grow high in front of several remaining boarded up homes in the neighborhood and some said they are skeptical that the revitalization will last."What the community needs is rehabilitation of the homes," said Lina Wellington, who moved to the neighborhood in 1946. "The community needs more than just that one house up there."The neighborhood overhaul also made high-speed internet available to all residents and reopened the nearby Indianapolis Public School No. 37 as a community center. More than 100 IPS students will also get free Dell laptops.Allen said he is confident the community an come together to keep a good thing going."I've already seen a few changes that have continued," he said. "I am pretty optimistic that a lot of the changes will be lasting."