EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

[ Update ]

Outreach Weekend Report

November 5-6, 2004

Contents:

Summary

by Justin Placek, ESLARP Outreach Weekend Assistant

On the weekends of November 5-6, 18 students and staff traveled down to East St. Louis to work on six different neighborhood projects. This was the the last work weekend for the year of 2004, a year that was extremely successful. The ESLARP Team included students from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Social Work, and general volunteers. They worked with each other and with residents to complete six different projects, which are discussed in detail below.

The Village Theatre Retaining Wall

by Justin Placek, ESLARP Outreach Weekend Assistant

This project, which has been ongoing since Oct. 15, took place on Friday only. Basically every part of the retaining wall was constructed on the previous two outreach weekends. The only thing left was two stabalize the railroad ties, by connecting the railroad ties together using ribar. So on Friday, we placed two pieces of ribar in the ends of each tie. Any ribar that was protruding out of the tie was then cut and hammered down.

Land of Lincoln Housing Assessments

by Kevin Rodenkirch

Participants: Kevin Rodenkirch, Travis Juracek,Shana Dobrinski, Justin Placek

Land of Lincoln is a not for profit service that works with the residents of East St. Louis to help protect their legal rights. In the past few years many cases of predatory lending have occurred to various recent home owners. These owners have been drastically overcharged for the properties that they have purchased. In addition, the houses that have been purchased are often far below legal codes and are in many cases unsuitable to live in. It was the task of the participants to work with Land of Lincoln by going into these houses and evaluating their condition. A report based on the findings will be created to asses what the problems of the home are, and to help determine what it will take to fix them and bring the homes up to code. On Friday and Saturday 2 homes were evaluated.

Rush City Cleanup

This was just a general cleaup project that was put together by members of social work who have been working with Rush City. On Saturday afternoon students and residents worked together to cleanup a few empty lots within Rush City.

41st Flyering

This was a small project that took just a couple hours. About 5 students worked with members of the 41st St. Neighborhood group to flyer the entire neighborhood about the upcoming neighborhood meetings. Its crucial to let everyone know that their is a neighborhood group and that their participation is wanted.

Book Salvage

This is a project that we have been working on a little bit the past couple of work weekends. Recently it was made known that the old East St. Louis Library building (abandoned when the new library was constructed) still housed many books and documents. This building, which is open to the weather's different elements in parts of the building, has been used by homeless people for shelter. Thus, these books and documents need to be salvaged fast due to the fact that they are a risk for various reasons. Although, no books have been salvage yet, we have found an office and cleaned and equipped it with many shelving units. This office will be used to temporaily store the books and documents that are considered salvageable.


More photos from the weekend.

Document author(s) : Listed Above
Last modified: 13 January 2004, Justin Placek
EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT