Cathy Robinson said, "I mean you have doctors and lawyers who live here, teachers that come from this area, they were property owners and by them dying, or moving away this area has gone down and the houses are vacant."
But over time neglectful homeowners have allowed many of these homes to deteriorate. There are 10 abandoned homes just on North 23rd street and most of them look like this one. No windows, no doors, plenty of opportunities for animals and people to go inside. The city's assistant ode enforcement officer, Cathy Robinson writes citations to the people who own these homes. She says during this time of year, these houses are more than an eyesore, they're a safety hazard.
Robinson said, "It's raining and the temperature is dropping. People are going inside these homes, and they may smoke or whatever the situation and start a fire."
The same way these animals are roaming in and out, people looking for shelter stay here, without power or water. We tried to speak with this woman we saw lurking around one of these houses, but she refused. Angela Cox says she sees many of these vagrants, or squatters coming and going.
Angela Cox said, "That's what I see, homeless people staying there, having a roof over their head when its cold or hot, they don't have anywhere else to go."
Cox and other neighbors say they're afraid to let their kids go outside, because of what may be going on inside abandoned homes nearby. Robinson says the city is working hard to change that.
Robinson said, "We're trying to eliminate this blight and get the city back to what it once was."