The Indiana National Guard will again support blight elimination efforts in Gary. National Guard soldiers will join with the city’s in-house demolition team to tear down vacant homes on the city’s east side.
The National Guard is planning on working in Gary for two months, after working in the city for two weeks last year. In 2017, they were able to help demolish 11 structures, with the city’s demolition team also tearing down 11 buildings. Demolition in the 1900 block of Delaware Street is already underway and is scheduled to run through October. If the demolition is done before October 1, the National Guard will tear down other properties between 16th & 17th Streets and Virginia Street.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says “Since 2012 we have been aggressively working to tackle blight in the city. We have worked hard to identify resources and partnerships to help in our blight elimination and demolition efforts. As a result, through the use of Hardest Hits Funds, local dollars and through partnerships with entities like the Indiana National Guard, our demolition efforts have been accelerated.”
The National Guard will use federal funds designated to help suppress drug activity in communities to support the demolition projects.