This photo was taken at 2117 Rowan Street in Louisville. This picture represents untapped potential. When I see vacant homes, I always think about the people that could be living in them and the people that once lived in them. According to Mariam Webster, one of the definitions of hopelessness is: 1 a: having no expectation of good or success: despairing b: not susceptible to remedy or cure c: incapable of redemption or improvement. 2 a: giving no ground for hope: desperate b: incapable of solution, management, or accomplishment: impossible. In my opinion, all of those definitions encompass the perceptions people have of vacant homes. Not only do vacant homes bring down the property values in neighborhoods, but I think they also bring down the spirits of people living in these neighborhoods as well.
I would like to see a more concerted effort within the city to empower people in neighborhoods with large numbers of vacant homes to advocate for redevelopment of vacant homes. I think in order for this problem to be solved, it has to start from within the community. Vacant homes in Louisville are not a problem that started overnight and they will not go away overnight. But in order for people to understand the impact that vacant homes have on neighborhoods, we all have to do our part by helping to bring awareness to the issue. This can be done by documenting vacant homes–through photographs, creating a database of vacant homes, following up with the city, submitting complaints to the city about vacant properties, and monitoring activities in and around vacant properties.