Change: One Door at a Time

A group started through the United Way is working to make community improvements in Eastside neighborhoods in Wichita Falls.  The group is learning what the community needs and how those changes can be made.

Through a door to door survey, team members are assessing the community and trying to help restore and rebuild.

Brenda Jarrett is heading up the project in Wichita Falls.  She said it's important to reach out to the people in the community in order to see improvements.

"Once we do that we are going to see a different community than what we see right now," Jarrett said.

She grew up on the Eastside of Wichita Falls and said the neighborhoods aren't the same from her childhood.

"When I grew up on this street all of the businesses were owned by residents," she said.

There were businesses, gardens, and a bigger sense of community pride.

"What I want to do is help bring some of that back."

Jarrett is the leader of a group formed by the United Way that is working to bring back assets to the Eastside.

She said, "Traditionally we are taught to look at the needs in a particular community or neighborhood. Needs normally shows lacks, deficiencies, problems."

Her and her team of twenty-eight members are going about this project differently.

"We are going into the community and asking the residents what do they want, how do they want to see their community and what do they have to give to the community."

They go door to door talking to residents and getting a conversation going on how they can be involved in making their neighborhoods better.  This kind of research is called asset mapping.

"It really does work, we've seen it.  Fort Worth has it and other communities have it so we are trying to get it here in Wichita Falls."

The goal is to learn what talents and skills lie in the people and then make a plan of action.

"Let them get up and do something about it," Jarrett explained.

She wants to see her old neighborhood like it used to be.

"We can bring in financial investments, housing, beautification."

The plan is to visit each home in the eastside community.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.