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Efforts underway to keep Ivanhoe neighborhood thriving

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Ivanhoe neighborhood is thriving, but it’s not something that happened overnight. 

It’s a neighborhood that has seen a significant transformation over the last 30 years.

Crime and Safety Specialist Bryce Bradford was born and raised in Ivanhoe.

“I moved to the east side on purpose because I think that this is a great place,” Bradford said. “I think these are great, hard-working people and there are issues just like everywhere else, but if we can come together like a community, I don't think there's anywhere more unique and more special than the east side.” 

Bradford said it’s been exciting to see the positive change, from drugs and crime to a neighborhood watch group formed by Alan and Yolanda Young, the positive interactions with police and the youth, and a place for community gardening to name just a few.

He said the transformation starts with just talking with one another. 

“Sometimes it's as simple as conflict resolution cause a lot of the violent crimes that happen and the domestic disputes or arguments or something that could just be diffused by just talking with one another and really having a conversation before you turn to a gun,” Bradford said.

He said he’s also seen the challenges in the revitalization efforts, such as trust, education and cohesion.

“Everybody's so quick to bring each other down and pull each other apart…instead of just coming together to really try and make the community to come together,” he said.

But with continued strides to keep Ivanhoe on the right path, Bradford said it’s been great seeing the community come together to make it clean, safe and welcoming.

“Huge, huge transformation,” Bradford said with a smile. “When I was growing up, this neighborhood didn't look anything like this and now yards are cut and neighbors talk to each other, and there's a beautiful community center right here for everybody, a park right there for the kids.”

Bradford said he hopes this can spread throughout the east side. 

The Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council is also working with Connecting for Good, a nonprofit that helps bridge the digital divide. They’re working together to put up surveillance cameras to help with public safety. 

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