Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Three years ago Rockford’s Orchid neighborhood was named the fifth most dangerous area in the country according to a website called Neighborhood Scout.
But, today, residents say it’s a different story.
“Oh my gosh, it was horrible,” said ORCHiD 3rd Union College Neighborhood Association Director of Development Joe Owen.
That’s how Joe Owen remembers Rockford’s Orchid neighborhood in the late nineties.
“It was very common just to walk out your door and just find somebody selling your drugs right there in the corner, or that corner, or on that corner,” Owen said.
Rockford Housing Authority director Ron Clewer said at that time the Jane Adams Village public housing building was there. He says it was one of the groups most crime-filled buildings.
In 2008 it was torn down and replaced with different public housing.
“It’s much better kept than the former property was, you couple that with the new roundabout, the new bridge, these major investments have played a large role but… it’s really the people in the neighborhood that make the real change,” said Rockford Housing Authority Director Ron Clewer.