Trainsong’s Improvement From the Inside Out

Katie Amondson, program manager for Looking Glass, a youth shelter for runaway and homeless youth, said, “there’s not a lot of people who come through this neighborhood unless they live here.”

Amondson said the biggest problem of the Trainsong neighborhood is the lack of of places for people to hang out within this area, except for Trainsong park. Admondson said the park has gone back and forth from being a good place, and that there had been some gang related activity.

Other issues include the need for better road conditions and to identify drug houses.

However, Amondson says that the neighborhood association has identified these problems, such as they’ve held community meetings where officials have attended and tried to build awareness to hear what’s going on.

Amondson said that Looking Glass had participated in some of the Trainsong community events, and that the neighborhood was selected as a city initiative to get people together to talk about what people are proud of.

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Jeff Althouse, co-owner and founder of Oakshire Brewing Company said, “I don’t think it has a big problem,” when asked what’s the biggest problem Trainsong faces.

Althouse said he didn’t have any problem with the residents. He think they’re wonderful.

Althouse believes the main issue Trainsong faces is the infrastructure and road matenience issues. He thinks it’s a little challenging with no public storm water system.

As far as public access, Althouse said this is not the area for foot traffic. He talked about the half-finished sidewalk, but that it hasn’t affected his business. “We actually have too much traffic for our business ‘cause we weren’t expecting people to show up; but now we’re running a tasting room out of a essentially, garage.”

Althouse said Oakshire supported Friends of Trees, and the Neighborhood Association has done events at the warehouse.

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Shane Truesdale lives across from Trainsong Park. He has lived there for seven years. Sitting in his hammock, smoking a cigarette in the sun, Truesdale said he used to be concerned with drug and gang violence issues. But not anymore.

Truesdale said it’s gotten a lot better. “The park was always full of tweakers, there was a bunch of gangsters that used to live around the corner,”

Truesdale said that place has cleaned up and there are no longer those issues. He said that occasionally they’ll be some bums that get off the train tracks and are rowdy in the park, but that’s about it.

Truesdale is part of the newly organized neighborhood committee, and they started a neighborhood watch.

The committee has organized events for people to get to know their neighbors, such as barbeques, Truesdale said. Truesdale has watched first hand how this has shaped Trainsong. He said before people would just keep to themselves.

Truesdale said the improvement is also due in part to the city, which gave the neighborhood association grants to keep the park clean. The police have also made more patrols throughout the area.

When asked if the neighborhood association could do anything else, Truesdale replied, “I think if we just keep moving forward the way we have been and stay a community, I think it should be fine.”

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