Posted: Jan 20, 2014 5:55 PM by Jason Newton
Updated: Jan 20, 2014 6:50 PM
BATON ROUGE - Martin Luther King Jr. Day brought volunteers to some of the more troubled parts of Baton Rouge in the hopes of turning things around.
Exactly one week ago, Baton Rouge Police swarmed St. Joseph Street after a teenager was shot and killed. Police said his cousin, 19-year-old Devon Bowie, is the killer.
But today it was a different scene as volunteer workers swarmed the same street, installing a wheelchair ramp for an elderly widow.
"Mrs. Johnson applied with our organization," said Chris Andrews, executive director of Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge. "She's severely limited and needed a wheelchair ramp."
Mary Lee Johnson has lived on St. Joseph Street for more than 40 years. Scoliosis problems have made it hard for her to get up and down her steps and the group answered her calls for help.
"Oh I'm very thankful. That's going to help me an awful lot," Johnson said. "And I'm just glad they chose me on this day."
"Someone like Mrs. Johnson has been in her home 40 years," Andrews said. "These people become anchors for the block. And we want to keep them in their homes so that the integrity of the neighborhood can be maintained."
Nicolette Gordon decided to help out also. She brought along her two daughters and her niece.
"I thought it was a good idea to bring them out here to expose them to what it really means to give back," Gordon said.
"I saw the lady was really struggling living at the house 40 years and needed help renovating," said Ja'Mya Rucker, 13, "so I thought it would be nice."