New Melrose Avenue Project Honors Sisters / Brings Hope to NW Roanoke

I want to express my deep gratitude to the City of Roanoke, Goodwill Industries of the Valley, HUD, and other community partners who are responsible for the Melrose Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project and the recently announced “Goodwill Project” on Melrose to include: an adult high school, a grocery store, a wellness center, and banking services for residents of Northwest Roanoke.

This is a great tribute to the memory of both Ms. Evelyn Bethel and her sister Ms. Helen Davis; two women who worked tirelessly to see such improvements in the Northwest area of Roanoke. There is still much to be done in the Northeast and Gainsboro sections of the city but these new projects show the city’s willingness to begin repairing some of the damage done to the African American community before, during and after Urban Renewal.

This will have a positive effect in convincing the young people of the valley that someone does care. How long they have waited for such a sign. My hope and prayer is that these positive developments are only the beginning of the long journey back to humane government in Roanoke. You have the prayers of many in these pursuits.

Mary Campagna / Roanoke

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