MESA, AZ — Neighbors in one Arizona town are seeing what a difference only a few weeks can make after a years-long battle to remove debris that created quite a community eyesore.
"We've won a huge battle. A huge battle,” said Jennifer Jackson, one of the neighbors in the Mesa, Arizona community.
For the neighbors who live together on East Alpine Avenue in the town of Mesa, just about 28 miles east of Phoenix, the amount of happiness they feel today is almost as much as the battle to get to that point felt.
When Jackson spoke to the ABC15 in December while standing in front of the debris on the property she said, "Something is not okay here. This is not okay here. This is unhealthy and unsafe. There are elderly on this street. There are children on this street.”
Weeks later, when ABC15 returned, the broken TVs, junk-filled shopping carts, over-flowing garbage cans and non-working cars were all gone.
"This is better than what it was. I am sad it has spilled over into the empty lot which we got cleaned two years ago, but it's still way better than what it was,” added Jackson.
Mesa police spent two days standing guard as residents of the community watched bulldozers lift junk into dumpsters to clear out all of the clutter which had caused so much stress for so long.
"It was very surreal for about two days. I did not believe it was happening,” Jackson said. "I mean, I expected maybe a little more police attention. But, not to the caliber of what has happened in any way, shape or form."
Police said they made over a dozen visits to the property over the years. Officers responded to calls reporting things like theft and city code violations. ABC15 were told that people had even been living in the cars and in tents in the front yard of the property.
Another reason the neighbors on East Alpine Avenue in Mesa, Arizona wanted something done about the eyesore and all of the debris was to figure out whether the woman who actually maintained an address at the property was safe and alright.
ABC15 learned that the woman's family was not aware of what was happening at the property. Her son, who lives out of state, flew into town and reportedly took his mother away from the home. The neighborhood now seems to be back to some sense of normalcy after a long battle to fix the issue.
Jackson thanked ABC15 for telling the story saying, "You guys definitely had a huge part of it. I am not going to say it was all of it, but, Venton, I can't say it wasn't,” she said.
This story was originally published by Venton Blandin of Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.