Cleveland is a hardworking, resilient city. Our residents breathe pride and hope. Our strong sense of culture, history and identity tie us to this town.
But many residents tell us there are some things holding us back from being even better and stronger. And they affect everyone.
On Jan. 26, 2017, 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze was walking to school -- like many children in Cleveland -- when she was abducted. A few days later, her body was found in a nearby abandoned home, sending shockwaves through the city. Her family and other residents called on the city to demolish that home and others. Alianna’s tragic death further highlighted the safety concerns that linger near thousands of vacant properties standing all across Cleveland.
These abandoned buildings are more than just eyesores or blight. We’ve found they can be breeding grounds for crime. They can decrease property values and destabilize neighborhoods. They can negatively impact residents’ physical and mental health.
But there are solutions and action we can take to solve the problem.
Over the next year, News 5 will bring you 'Cleveland Abandoned' – a series like you’ve never seen on the state of vacant properties in Cleveland and how it impacts our city. This in-depth look will expose the scope and history of the problem. You will also hear from people and organizations working tirelessly to make their neighborhoods better. Lastly, “Cleveland Abandoned” will detail how we can work together to combat challenges, uncover solutions and improve our community.
Abandoned properties in Cleveland have been a crucial topic of discussion for decades. It’s something many people talk about. But with this series, we’re going to do something about it. And we need your help. Use our feedback form below to share your story about how this issue impacts you. Share photos and videos of problematic properties so we can follow up and take our findings to city hall.