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Neighbors and non-profit coming together to rebuild Keystone neighborhood

ROCK ISLAND -- George Barajas has lived in the historic Keystone neighborhood in Rock Island for the last 12 years. Ever since he moved in, it's been his goal to see it thrive, starting with homes.

"A lot of these folks can`t afford to fix their homes," said Barajas.

That's where the Rebuilding Together Quad Cities organization comes in. It's a non-profit group that has spent more than a generation repairing homes for low-income homeowners in the metro area.

Keystone now wants to be the rebuilding organization's first full neighborhood project.

"It`s an older neighborhood so they are older homes (that) have had some problems and disrepair," said Rebuilding Together executive director Steve Barton. "We canvas the neighborhood and looked at exteriors, porches and things that look like they`re in obvious need."

The goal in Keystone isn't to bring new people to the neighborhood but to keep the current ones there.

"There are homes that are vacant that they need to either tear down or get owners in there, but that`s not really our scope," Barton said. "Our scope is more focus on keeping people in their homes."

Barajas says that's just what Keystone needs. He hopes other neighbors can take advantage of what's being offered, not only to bring new life to their homes, but to one of the oldest Rock Island neighborhoods as well.

"It's just a great place to work and live and thrive so if we can just develop a certain type of model that can keep the process going," said Barajas.

Rebuilding Together Quad Cities is accepting applications right now and plans on doing repairs in the Keystone neighborhood spring 2017.