UTICA, NY - Twenty-five years ago, the Johnson Park neighborhood was riddled with abandoned houses, drugs, and violent crime.
Now, 25 years later, it’s a different story and the surrounding community is thriving.
To celebrate, Johnson Park Center is holding its 25th Year Days of Celebration.
It consists of three days of giving back to the community.
The first day was a drive-through event with cars lined up all the way to the Parkway.
Volunteers spent the afternoon loading cars with food and kitchen items for every household.
Reverend Ursula Meier, Johnson Park's Chief Operating Officer says things have definitely gotten better over the years.
"This neighborhood, nobody wanted to live here. Nobody wanted to come and do any business in this neighborhood. Reverend Doctor Scates, the CEO, and founder started picking up garbage. Every morning, early in the morning, she came and picked up garbage. That was the first step of I can do that, it doesn't cost anybody anything just to take care of the neighborhood."
For the people in the community who don't have cars, Johnson Park Center is continuing the event - this time for walkers - on Tuesday and Wednesday.