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Volunteers are transforming a neighborhood on Youngstown's east side.

Consecutive homes at 19, 25 and 31 Rutledge Drive are symbolic of the degrees of blight that continue to plague many city neighborhoods, but the three vacant residences’ improved looks also tell a story of collective commitment, desire, determination and hope.

Two Valley corporations are helping give new life to vacant homes and properties.

Those looking to improve their small business, start their own enterprise or learn about neighborhood development may want to attend the North Flint Reinvestment Corporation’s economic empowerment summit.

“The downfall of Youngstown’s South Side is one of the greatest tragedies in American urban history. It’s hard to imagine how the city as whole can survive in any meaningful way without a stabilized South Side.”