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New look, new beginning for gang-prone SW Atlanta corner | News

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New look, new beginning for gang-prone SW Atlanta corner

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh coat of paint to make a place feel brand new.

For neighbors in Ashview Heights, it only took about 20 volunteers and two hours on a chilly Monday morning to find out.

In an interview with 11Alive's Blayne Alexander last November, Atlanta Police Sgt. Archie Ezell called the graffiti-filled corner one of the worst gang recruitment areas in the city.

But thanks to the community, a new work of art is coming to life.

Monday morning, volunteers gathered at the Fair Street Supermarket with brushes, pans and purple paint, determined to cover the graffiti and create a new canvas. Homeowners, parents, children and residents of nearby communities all took part in the effort.

"This is a small thing, but it's probably a big thing to the neighborhood," said volunteer Derrick Jordan. "People now are gonna drive through and notice this change."

By Monday afternoon, the graffiti was covered in a thick coat of purple paint - the beginnings of a community mural designed by local students. Neighborhood association president Elizabeth Hall says they hope to have the mural in place by May.

"We're really taking back the community and we want people to know it," Hall said.