'Glass House Collective' holds revitalization block party
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- In an effort to breathe new life into parts of Chattanooga, a newly formed revitalization organization is working to bring community members together. To kick off the effort, the 'Glass House Collective' held its first block party Saturday.
"It's been amazing community support and organizational support. We've got so many partners around us," says Teal Thibaud with Glass House Collective.
In January Thibaud and two others helped start the Glass House Collective.
The main goal is to shock some life back into Glass Street, create a renewed since of pride and bring in new business in East Chattanooga.
"Hopefully we have a few eager entrepreneurs and some great business plans to kind of occupy these vacant store fronts on Glass Street," she says.
As a part of its efforts the organization held 'Glass Street Live'. The block party offered food and fun but more importantly it showcased area resources to those in the community.
"Glass House, I'm so glad that they're hear. And they have the energy and the motivation to make every place in Chattanooga successful," says Toccora Johnson with Girls, Inc.
It was a chance to bring residents together and start a conversation about the changed they would like to see.
"This is awesome, because when people think of an inner-city community, they think of violence. This is not violence. This is where kids come out and get to experience things they don't get to see on a daily basis," says Brittany Upshaw
Upshaw is from East Chattanooga and says it would be a dream to see Glass Street hopping again.
"It was would be awesome, and it would also be beautiful because these buildings are here and they've been here for years and they need some color and they need some business out here, because we have to go so far just to get what we need," says Upshaw.
"I think it's very important for people to realize that East Chattanooga is alive and proud and strong and it's coming back even stronger," says District Nine Councilman Peter Murphy.
"Glass street is a place start. I mean, why not? The community believes that we believe it and hopefully as the momentum continues to spur, others will believe it," says Thibaud.
The Glass House Collective was formed under the charitable nonprofit Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.
Starting next month, Glass House will offer business planning courses to help entrepreneurs with their business ideas.