‘I dream’: St. Louis child hopes the city will do something about vacant properties

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Gravois Park has an unlikely advocate for inclusive development in a 12-year-old girl who wants to see the vacant buildings and lots on her block be transformed into safe, liveable places.

Deyon Ryan’s passion for the issue is partly influenced by her father DeAndre Brown, who has been vocal on the issue. Ryan wrote about the vacancy problem in school and it caught the attention of local groups.

The city’s data on vacant buildings show more than 380 vacancies in four developing neighborhoods in south St. Louis: Gravois Park, Benton Park, Benton Park West and Marine Villa.

“When I look across the street,” Ryan said sitting outside her home on California Avenue, “There’s nothing but vacant buildings. There’s literally two houses across the street that’s not vacant.” Check out the full story

By Ashley Lisenby, St. Louis Public Radio


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