Initiative plans to bring Prospect Corridor back to life

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new initiative led by Kansas City Police and others is intended to bring the Prospect Corridor back to life.

The project is part of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, or KC Nova, and a grant which is funding these crime-prevention activities.

Sgt. Garrick Haynes said one of the goals is to, “try to get these businesses back up and running, to find these boarded up houses and buildings and find something to do with them.”

Sgt. Haynes is one of the leads of the project.

“I think the people around here do care, but I think one of the biggest problems is they feel like other people don’t care,” Sgt. Haynes said.

Authentic Cuts is a small blue, white, and red striped shop that sits on the corner of a tiny strip on Prospect Avenue. Ronald “Sleepy”  Vineyard has worked there for six years.

“A lot of our customers, you tell them 35th and Prospect, and they’re like, 'I’m not coming down there' so yeah, it’s good a bad look,” Vineyard said with a laugh.

Vineyard said he loves all his customers but sometimes the passing foot traffic is another story.

“You got a couple knuckle heads here and there,” Vineyard said.

Sgt. Haynes said part of the project will include installing proper lighting around businesses to prevent people from loitering.

"One component of the Vision is a neighborhood accountability board. Overseen by the Center for Conflict Resolution, this group of residents will be charged with spearheading safety efforts in their community. This will include meeting with youth accused of minor crimes in the neighborhood. In cooperation with police and the City Prosecutor’s Office, some young people can appear before the board instead of before a prosecutor. The neighborhood accountability board can decide what kind of work the young person will have to do to make up for their crime."

Vineyard said he and his shop are glad there are people willing to change what their neighborhood is known for.

Vineyard said, “It definitely has potential. It brings in a lot of traffic. You want better traffic I guess you would say. You want to be able to go outside and not see shootings and fights and all that, but you just want to go outside and see a bunch of happy people.”

The first  phase of the initiative targets Prospect from 25th to 39th streets. There is a launch event for this project Saturday at the Robert Mohart Community Center from 9 a.m. to noon. They’re inviting anyone to come, especially if you live in these neighborhoods.