• Video sheds light on poverty in East Cleveland - jayworking

    3,109 views 2 years ago
    The city of East Cleveland has run into some hard times. And now, a man who grew up in the struggling city hopes a video he shot while driving through its neighborhoods will open people’s eyes.

    Jamal Collins hopes to raise awareness of the poverty and devastation all around him. In this video he posted on You Tube, he wants to give you a hard look at the city he grew up in. Collins says conditions are so bad now in some places, it saddens him that children have to walk through these neighborhoods to get to school.

    The video shows street after street of abandoned homes and buildings and trash piled high in empty lots. Not every neighborhood looks like this, but it’s what you find when you walk down several streets in East Cleveland.

    “To me, it's in a state of emergency. Entire streets are abandoned,” said Collins, during his narration of the five minute video.

    Collins shot the video in January to show what people live with every day in East Cleveland. It's been viewed more than 11,000 times on You Tube.

    “I think the problem is if there's less opportunity, less jobs, that brings frustration. When it brings frustration, that brings crime, a loss of hope, drug abuse and all of these other things that's plaguing the community as it is,” Collins said.

    He worries the most about the children who live and play in these neighborhoods.

    Collins teaches graphic design to kids at the Boys and Girls Club in East Cleveland. He came back home after graduating college and earning a decade of experience in graphic design.

    “I just want to give people hope, because you're a part of your environment. If you're looking and seeing that, it affects you in some way shape or form,” Collins said.

    Thanks to his graphic design classes, kids like 11-year-old Quincy Jackson are opened up to a whole new world full of possibility.

    “It teaches us new stuff about technology,” Jackson said, sitting at a computer.

    Collins says it's a chance for these kids to have a mentor and rise above the drugs and crime that are taking over many of the streets.

    “I want to give these kids hope, trying to get them to think as designers, engineers, so they can come back and help the community,” he said.

    Here's the video I shoot in January:


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