The Brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Phi Chapter pitch in to clean up Milwaukee’s River West Neighborhood
After an extremely long and cold winter, the neighborhoods throughout the city of Milwaukee were in need of extra attention and TLC. As the spring and summer months progressed these concerns grew larger. For these reasons, Kappa Phi Chapter Vice Basileus, Donald Stone Jr., organized the 6th Annual Omega Psi Phi Neighborhood Cleanup held on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Collectively the brothers of Kappa Phi Chapter rolled up our sleeves and canvassed the neighborhood.
The clean-up was opened with prayer by Kappa Phi Basileus, Marcel A. Clarke which included joining hands in a circle of unity in front of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity House. The volunteers began on 2nd and Center Street and proceeded South to Wright Street finally finishing up on 1st Street. Together we covered a 6 block radius. One neighbor south of the fraternity house stated “I’m so glad they do this. The neighborhood is dying for attention and these brothers have provided the necessary attention in the community”
The annual cleanup day, which started in 2009, helps dozens of residents with their spring and summer cleaning by offering removal of items that are too large to be picked up by the regular trash disposal, cutting and maintaining vacant lots as well as picking up trash from city streets and parks in the River west Neighborhood. In addition, the chairman of the committee, Donald Stone Jr., organized the city of Milwaukee to deliver dumpsters for neighbors to remove unwanted items from their homes.
“The intention is to help our neighbors with spring cleaning and to feel good about where they live, we have to be a viable force in our neighborhood and it starts with putting care into the area through beautification” Stone said.
Donald Stone, who is also a supervisor for the city of Milwaukee Streets and Sanitation Department, said it has made a difference and volunteers today are picking up less trash than they were 6 years ago. A lot of residents don’t have cars, so getting rid of large amounts of waste or old furniture can be a challenge, he said.
“We want our neighborhood to look nice. We are limited with what we can do about people’s homes and the way they live or what businesses look like, but by doing this we can make a difference in how the neighborhood looks overall,”
This project was also supported by the local neighbors in the neighborhood, the Milwaukee Vincent High School Varsity Girls Basketball team under coach James Wright, who is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. - Kappa Phi Chapter, as well as, the youth ministry at All People’s Church and their Freedom School Initiative.