WSU study: Many Fairmount Park residents not working

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It has been three years since Letitia Davis was beaten, raped and then set on fire in Fairmount Park. She died from the burns days later.

Now, results from a new survey being used to improve the area shows that many living in the area have a variety of unmet needs that include jobs, transportation and even access to food.

Brian Moore has very few complaints about Fairmount Park.

“When they have cars and stuff parking on the side of the road, it is kind of thin trying to get through here,” says Moore.

He’s lived here five years. Other than wanting to see some roads improved, Moore enjoys the area.

Three years ago was a different story, after a woman was beaten, raped and set on fire at the park.

“It was a tragedy,” says Moore. “It left a mark on the community.”

Since then, Wichita State has been knocking on doors, like Moore’s, to find out what can be improved.

They found that 38 percent of people said someone living with them didn’t have a job, 24 percent of people were hungry, and 43 percent of people didn’t have adequate transportation.

“I am sure there are families around here in need of that type of help,” adds Moore.

Using the ideas of people who live there, the university is trying to make the neighborhood safer.

4/5 people report enjoy living in the neighborhood, but just as many think more lights, on top of the ones that have been installed at Fairmount Park, would make the area safer.

Marcus Reed thinks more sports activities would not only offer more lighting, but give the neighborhood a better community atmosphere.

“They are limiting us to just tennis. You know,they built the new tennis court, but I am thinking more basketball goals maybe more seating, maybe more activities at the rec center,” Reed explains.

The results of the survey will be presented Thursday at Fairmount Coffee Company at 1 p.m.


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