English Avenue in line for Falcons cash windfall

ATLANTA -- For residents who live in blighted neighborhoods that may border a new Falcons Stadium, $15 million promised by Falcons Owner Arthur Blank to improve things boils down to this:

"Do something that is going to help; that's going to work for us; that's going to get us motivated; that's going to get us started doing something. We really care about our neighborhood," said John Crooks, a resident of English Avenue.

Another resident, Larry Cunningham added:

"I would try to improve this community because I don't think there is anything better than having hope."

Millions of dollars to rebuild, refurbish, renovate and reinvigorate neighborhoods that could surround the new Falcons stadium will start with areas near The Bluff and Vine City. Areas like English Avenue.

It's a street with dozens of homes now vacant and boarded up, churches only open on Sunday and an aged school sits empty and decaying.

Long time residents like John Crooks take a personal pride in English Avenue but want the Falcons money to ratchet up the quality of life and rid the neighborhood of joblessness.

"They got a school down there. They should change that school to a community center, where kids can focus," Crooks said.

"Maybe have after-school programs for the kids and maybe a job readiness program for the adults," he added.

These are programs that are priorities for Ivory Lee Young, Atlanta City Councilman from District 3, representing English Avenue homeowners.

"We would shore up education for young folks and their families, provide job training and career preparation for the very same families, and do whatever we could to bolster job opportunities," he said.

No specific plan yet on how the Falcons windfall would be spent, but lots of hope.


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