Ruby may hold the key to blight in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — There’s a new plan to fight blight in the city of Youngstown:

Keeping neighborhoods clean with a trailer named Ruby.

First News Reporter Miriam Hobbes was there today for Ruby’s unveiling– and shows us how it all works.

Green Youngstown introduced its brand new community beautification trailer during a neighborhood cleanup on the northside.

Ruby is our trailers name. It’s the revitalization and urban beautification of Youngstown,” said Jennifer Jones, Green Youngstown, program coordinator.

You can find every cleaning tool you can think of on this trailer. People can use Ruby, free of charge to help spruce up their neighborhoods.

“We have all kinds of shovels and spades and hedge trimmers and pruners and weed wackers and mowers,” said Jones.

Green Youngstown was able to purchase RUBY through a 15 thousand dollar grant from the Ohio EPA. The city also pitched in some funds.

They got the idea for RUBY from other community cleaning groups in Akron and Columbus, where it was very successful.

Ruby was used for the first time at a cleanup project on Norwood and Covington.

“We were looking for a location to stage Ruby’s debut, and one of the local block watch groups asked us, said this was a really great place. It’s very visual,” said Jones.

Valeria Goncalves was one of the people who helped plan the project. She’s lived in the neighborhood for nearly 30 years.

“I think this is just wonderful. I think more of this people coming out from the neighborhood and different areas of the northside helping us. I think that’s just wonder and really appreciate it,” said Valeria Goncalves.

If any neighborhood group wants to use Ruby, all they have to do in go the green Youngstown website, find out when Ruby is available and get all their volunteers together to start a neighborhood cleanup.

“We can provide bags, gloves and everything you need for the project. You just have to supply the people power,” said Jones.

The neighbors are looking forward to cleaning up other areas on the northside, now that they have the tools they need to do the job.

“You gotta take pride in your neighborhood. And if you don’t take pride in your neighborhood, then it will go down,” said Goncalves.

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