Residents of the Carver Community in Johnson City are proud of where they live, and they were wearing their community pride on their sleeves Tuesday during the National Night Out Celebration.
“This right here is just to get the community to come in and see what our community is about, cause people tend to think, you know, it’s low-income, it’s housing, bad neighborhood, and we want to show people we’re not a bad neighborhood,” Carver resident and secretary of the Carver Resident Association Michelle Tisdale said.
National Night Out is an annual event held on the first Tuesday in August and is a partnership between local law enforcement agencies and community members. The event is designed to give community members to meet and get to know those living around them. It is hoped neighbors getting to know one another will act as a crime deterrent in the communities, while also raising crime and drug prevention awareness.
In addition to Carver, the annual event was celebrated by communities all over the city, including Keystone, Memorial Park, Pinecrest, Parkway and Dunbar. It was sponsored by the various resident associations from those communities and the Johnson City Housing Authority Community Policing Program.
Tisdale said the event, which featured food, music, inflatables, face-painting and train rides, is a way to help new residents get to know some of the older ones. It also helps to inform residents about the many services offered by the Resident Association, including the computer lab and food box programs.
After living in Carver for more than 15 years, Tisdale said has heard a lot of bad things about the neighborhood, while also hearing a lot of good. National Night Out gives the residents a chance to highlight the good they bring to the larger community, she said.
“It’s not a bad neighborhood. It’s really not, and we want to show that,” she said. “It really is great, because you get to see old faces, you get to see new faces, people who have moved away come back to visit. It’s great to see your hard work pay off.”
Marilyn Yorrick, another Carver resident and president of the Resident Association, agreed, saying the event helps to build communication between everyone in the community.
“If they got any questions or anything, we’re here to answer them for them, so they can feel comfortable in their own home,” she said.
With the kid-centered activities at the event, many of the Carver children get a chance to have one final bash before school is back in session. But it’s a night that everyone in the community looks forward to.
“They really enjoy it. They really do. By us doing this event, it makes them feel safer.”