Flint church takes a new approach to fighting blight

Homes without doors and windows are a common sight in flint. Efforts to board up homes are leaving once prosperous neighborhoods surrounded by eyesores.

Pastor Robert McCathern and his church are re-envisioning the potential that remains.

On first pass, nothing appears to be out of the ordinary on Dayton Street in flint -- until you stop and take a closer look.

Abandoned homes with faux doors and windows put up by members of the joy tabernacle church.

"This all started when we were just looking to how to make a difference in this neighborhood," said Pastor Robert McCathern from joy tabernacle church.

With help from a manufacturer in Detroit, church members are refusing to accept blight and coming together.

"Half of my enemies I am standing next to now. We are shaking hands and going about life now because we came together as one," said Dequarius Hall from joy tabernacle church.

Church members say Pastor Robert McCathern is the one providing the belief that the area can change.

"Itâ??s actually been making a change around here, we get a lot of compliments from the elder people," said Sela Gibson from joy tabernacle church.

People who were considering moving away because of urban eyesores are now digging deeper into their roots and rallying behind the church.

"The neighbors have come alive, there is a sense of pride there is a lot of self owner ship for people who live in their homes," said McCathern.

Something as simple as wood and printed images hopes to target blight in the heart of flint's residential areas.

"We just hope this gives a little bit of hope to people. When money is short we can at least make a visual difference," said McCathern.

The church is continuing their efforts with help from the Mott foundation. We will continue to cover this story as church crews continue work next week.