MILWAUKEE -- A local church is trying to bring hope to the community one block at a time. After a year, volunteers say they're seeing stark changes.
At 24th and Center, there was more to celebrate Saturday, June 11th than the arrival of summer-like temperatures.
New Testament Central City Church sits at the head of the street. Its members are marking the one-year anniversary of their "Adopt-A-Block" program.
"A change. We pick up trash as well, and we've noticed how clean the neighborhood is now. In fact, some of the people that live on the block have started to pick up trash too," said Joann Harde.
Here's how it works: Every second Saturday, volunteers stream out onto the nearby streets to pick up trash, share treats and just get to know the people who live near the church.
"We want to make them feel like they're our brothers and our sisters and we care about them," said Bruce Hunter.
On Saturday, June 11th, the group held its annual "Neighborhood Outreach" party. It's kind of an extension of their "Adopt-A-Block" program.
"We invite the people to come out for free food. Get free food and then we have people from our congregation who will mingle with them to try to talk to them, pray with them," said Hunter.
With their outreach, members say they're noticing a difference in the surrounding community -- and say Milwaukee would be well served if more groups stepped up and did something similar.
"If every church would take one block, we believe we'd begin to see a change in the whole city of Milwaukee," said Hunter.
In fact the last year has gone so well, they've decided to double their territory.
"We've added two blocks now. It used to be the first block -- but now we go all the way down to Locust," said Hunter.
If the "Adopt-A-Block" program sounds like something you'd like to be involved in, call 414-263-0130.