Teens are doing their community service and helping beautify the area by painting over graffiti in town.
Accompanied by juvenile probation officer Will Scott, the youth go out as part of their mandated community service and paint over spots that have been tagged with graffiti, free of charge. Scott said he brings the teens out starting every spring and they visit locations that either Scott has discovered or where residents request their services.
The service started about five years ago and the youth have painted about 25 places a year since its beginning, Scott said.
“We’ve painted over 101 garages,” Scott said.
Scott said he finds many of the locations himself just by driving around and compiling a list to paint in the summer.
But, he said, they also get requests from residents.
“People have been calling in,” Scott said.
While on the job, Scott said they’ll often find places that need painting and will ask the permission of the resident before adding those to the list.
Scott said most of the painting is done on garages or sides of houses, but they’ll go wherever they’re needed.
“We even painted a business,” Scott said.
The paint and painting supplies are provided through a grant from the Cass County Community Foundation, Scott said.
About five or six youth go out once a week starting this week and spend a few hours painting over several designated locations, he said.
“Most of the places we’ve been, you can’t tell it’s been there,” Scott said.
Usually they’ll use white paint, he said, but they can bring different colors if it’s requested.
Some weeks, the Diversity Dynamics Club from Logansport High School will also join them, he said.
When homes or businesses are tagged by graffiti, First Sgt. Travis Yike with the Logansport Police Department said police tell owners to paint over the area immediately.
The reason, Yike said, is because they don’t want rival gangs to see the graffiti and then add their own.
“We don’t want it to be a graffiti area,” Yike said.
Yike said they haven’t seen much graffiti recently, but that it happens at all times of the year.
“I don’t think the warmer weather matters — it can happen anytime,” Yike said.
In addition to helping cover the graffiti, Scott said the process also helps the youth, especially when they get feedback from the homeowners.
“It’s great when they come out and thank us,” Scott said.
Scott said the youth also get out and plants trees in the community, pick up trash and work with church food programs.
With these activities in the community, Scott said, the youth are able to see the fruits of their labors.
“It’s good to do something that you can see that you’ve made a difference,” Scott said.
Scott said they’ll be painting every week until the end of July.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.