May 31, 2011

Several DCJ employees and an Adult Community Service Work Crew lent a helping hand on Saturday, May 14, 2011 to the Rosewood Initiative.  The Rosewood Initiative is a collective effort of Rosewood area residents and public safety officers coming together to make the Rosewood Neighborhood a safer and more enjoyable place to live. 

The Rosewood Initiative has recently acquired the lease to a space that once housed a dry cleaners business (609 SE 162nd Avenue).  Now vacant, the space had the potential to become a community meeting space which had been long sought after by the Initiative.  The immediate problem was how to begin to turn the dry cleaner’s business into a non-profit cafe where community members can come together to meet each other, hold events, get to know police and probation officers working in the community.  A call for assistance was circulated by Jenny Glass, an Ameri-Corps Community Organizer.

DCJ employees John McVay, Dori Larson, and Jeffrey Jones stepped-up to help.  The Alternative Community Service Crews also provided a work crew of nine men to assist with the demolition.  In lieu of jail time, the crew helped bring down walls, remove old flooring and remove debris to make way for the development of the cafe.  John McVay, Community Justice Manager, proudly reported, “The Community Organizers at the demolition repeatedly mentioned that the crew had a great attitude and did great work.”   

With the help of the work crews, the demolition and clearing of debris was completed in record time.  Dori Larson, Community Works Leader, anticipates that the Alternative Community Work Crew will be called to help again in the future.  “Our crews our very efficient and it is important that we continue to support the Rosewood Initiative.  It can be a positive experience for everyone involved.”