I met this man doing construction on a building on Ferry and Walnut. This was his last day in the West Ward; he was moving to South Carolina the next day. I asked him what he thought of the area.
"Even with the Weed and Seed program, there is still a serious crime element around here. This building for example and the one next door and a couple others I know of, regularly you'll see high traffic in and out of these places. Basically as you go past the Probation Center it starts to get better, and about three blocks that way (south), it starts to get better. But this general area, especially around the prison, it's not very well. And the other problem that you have is this place here, when you had the exodus of the middle class way back when, they took this thing (he indicates the building), butchered it and made it into an apartment. And these are low quality apartments."
"So what do you think is the answer? What could make it better?"
"Well, the first thing I think, the City has started to do it, but they still have work to go, is that they need to start enforcing the codes. Like this (points to new circuit board for smoke detectors), this is where they start to enforce the code. Before, we had an interconnected smoke detector system which met the letter of the codes but it didn't meet the intent. So that's why this is going in. Similarly, if you take a look at the block (we go outside), there's all this…stuff…that detracts from the appearance. But, really, just getting the codes enforced would be good. I met the code inspector here about a year ago, a new breed of them, and they're doing much better, but they don't have enough people. I don't think more police is going to do them much good because you can already tell when you go down the street exactly when a cop's coming. It's like telegraph; certain people disappear off the street. Most everyone here wants to be good people. I mean you've got the normal issues with a low economy and things like that. The low skill work in this area is almost basically gone. So, it's a challenge all around. "
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA