South Lansing undergoes rejuvenation at the hands of community members

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By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

The south Lansing neighborhood area is undergoing a “rejuvenation” headed by a team of facilitators and representatives, and backed by community members like Elaine Wombolt. She is the official facilitator and founder of the initiative.

As stated on the group’s website, “Our goal is to connect neighbors to each other and to resources so we can improve the quality of life in south Lansing for those who live and work here.”

Wombolt also said that this group helps and brainstorms with other Lansing neighborhoods that have similar issues, such as the eastside neighborhood. Some of these issues include a huge, unregulated number of medical marijuana dispensaries, and unregulated donation bins that are easily taken advantage of as garbage furniture dumps.

This group started several years ago, with hopes to promote growth of the South Lansing community and stop crime.

“In October 2014, a group of citizens came together and decided we needed to do something for south Lansing because it was deteriorating,” said Wombolt. “I was designated as the facilitator of this group.”

Wombolt talked about how this is a growing and expanding group, explaining that there are no dues, no bylaws, and anyone can attend the meetings.

A map of south Lansing neighborhoods, courtesy of southlansing.org via Google maps.

A map of south Lansing neighborhoods, courtesy of southlansing.org via Google maps.

One woman who works very closely with Wombolt is Melissa Huber, the social media outreach coordinator of the group.

“What I do is work with our Facebook group and keep our website updated,” said Huber.

Huber talked about how it’s “definitely a two-pronged approach” when it comes to reaching out to people.

She says that there are multiple ways to communicate with the people involved who are of all ages. Some prefer to be contacted by phone, or by traditional mail, or by Facebook, or by the website.

Having a wide range of communication options helps people contribute resources to the group even if they can’t attend the meeting, said Huber.

“There is power in numbers, and every voice is important,” said Wombolt.

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