San Bernardino rebuilding shabby neighborhoods

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Bull dozers demolished the first of four apartment complexes near 19th and Guthrie streets, the first part of a city-wide project meant to bring some of San Bernardino's most run-down neighborhoods out of the gutter.

"This will be a neighborhood that people will want to live in and will want to call their home," said Carey Jenkins, of the city's community development agency.

The $36 million plan also includes money to help families buy the new homes and grants so a current resident can improve the appearance of their home.

It's mostly paid by the city's economic development agency, but also with federal money.

Residents who live near the project seem to be pleased with what's happening.

"I like what they're doing because they're going to clean up the area," Brenda Gonzales said. "They're going to build new buildings, and that's good."

But others are only cautiously optimistic.

"It's better, it's lovely to live in a nice place, but it's not the place that's bad," said neighbor Jamal McGee.

As McGee points out, the buildings aren't all that need attention.

"It's to rebuild the people," he said. "The people make up the community, not the buildings."

Other said the appearance of the community is a major part of it.

"I wish they would take care of all this, because I have seven grandsons, and I want this to be a peaceful place for my grandsons and my babies," said Mary Jackson, who lives nearby.

Most residents agree that when it comes to improving the lives of people in the neighborhood, the action taken today is a good start.

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