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East Hills neighborhood trying to move on after attack | Crime

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East Hills neighborhood trying to move on after attack
Crime, News
East Hills neighborhood trying to move on after attack

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- The neighborhood of East Hills in Grand Rapids is moving forward after an arsonist set fire to some condominiums under construction.

"Everybody's just pitching in, there's a whole energy shift.  From when we were attacked, to being proactive about the situation," says Johannah Jelks, with the East Hills Council of Neighbors.  In February, an arsonist set fire to some condos and sent a threatening letter to the residents.  It demanded that they move out and transition the buildings to low-income housing.  Jelks says it didn't make sense.  "We definitely have a great diversity and incomes as well as ethnicities, so that's what makes us special."

Jelks says she is one of those residents who live in affordable housing.  Her co-worker, Claire Fisher also lives a few blocks away.  "Just to give you an idea of how much I pay for rent - I split with my two roommates and I pay $300 a month."

This is why Fisher and Jelks are looking at the arson as a criminal act, not as a political statement.  With the Grand Rapids Police, FBI, and the ATF investigating the attack, the East Hills neighborhood is coming together and they are confident, someone will get caught. " So, we definitely believe that this crime will be solved and we'll be able to move forward."

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