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How one neighborhood group is helping residents who feel like they are being pushed out

Kirkwood Cares has helped more than 30 homeowners.

Alice Evans, known as Miss Alice in her neighborhood, moved into her home on Sisson Avenue 30 years ago thinking that would be her one and only home.

Evans, 84, said a lot has changed since then, including the taxes on her home, which she says went from several hundred dollars to about $2,000. Then, she was hit with a code of violation. 

“I said, 'I got a notice?' she says, 'this is for you, Miss Alice,'" she told 11Alive.

Those code violations were for overgrown plants, a crumbling retaining wall, rotten window sills and rotted eaves on her rooftop. All of which the 84 year-old said she couldn't afford to repair. 

"When you get citations like this you have to look at going into a senior home, you can’t afford to buy these homes," Evans said. "It makes you feel real low, like I’m getting thrown out of my own house.”

The notice of those code violations came to her as brand new construction was being built around her.

 "See, we have to accommodate them, but they don’t want to accommodate us, that means we want your property," she said, adding that she's been made offers to sell her home, but has no plans on letting go. 

Kirkwood - like many in-town neighborhoods – is facing a wave of gentrification. Many longtime residents like Evans feel they are being pushed out. 

"It makes you feel so unwanted, really, and as a taxpayer, you shouldn’t be feeling that way, for the city of Atlanta, a city to busy to hate," she said. 

Unable to pay for those repairs, Kirkwood Cares, which started out as a committee of the Kirkwood neighbors organization – stepped in to help her. 

"We put together volunteers and hired contractors and tackled all three of those issues," Justin Schaeffer said.

The non-profit was able to get Evans out of those code violations. It's something Kirkwood Cares has done for more than thirty neighbors. 

"I’m glad there is still someone in the neighborhood that doesn’t say 'Ill be by later but they came, he came right away," she says. 

Atlanta continues to battle an affordability issue. In a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Atlanta was named the nation's fourth fastest growing city. 


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