VICTORVILLE — Overgrown shrubs and debris littered the streets in front of the El Rancho Theatre in Old Town Victorville before Saturday’s community cleanup. Community service organization, In the Trenches, hosted the monthly cleanup and barbecue to show their dedication to veterans, the homeless and the city.
“We’re trying to take back our community,” said In the Trenches Board Member La Marr Durham. “This is our city that we reside in. We love our city so we just want to take care of it as much as we can.”
The veteran-owned organization cleaned up the block with the help of some homeless residents.
“We’re going to give you a hand up because you’re worth more than a hand out,” said In The Trenches Board Member Darren Shine. The group firmly believes everyone makes their own decisions and should be held accountable for them.
Even so, the organization still feeds the homeless daily, gives out clothes and tries to provide resources for jobs.
Cleanup volunteer Marlena says that Route 66 is a beautiful area provided that it stays clean.
“A lot of people are scared to come down here because it’s dirty, so they think it’s a bad area,” said Marlena. “I like cleanliness. It looks better when it’s clean.”
Volunteer Lubely credits In the Trenches Board Member Sarg McFarland — who also owns a toy store nearby, for wanting to keep the area clean.
“Especially for the Sarg — he does so much for everyone. The main thing that we want to do — whatever is around his area, to pick it up,” said Lubely.
Army veteran and volunteer Steve says when Sarg wanted to start cleaning up, he wanted to volunteer.
“Look at it now — it’s a big improvement than what it was,” said Steve. “I thank the man upstairs for waking me up everyday and giving me the energy to get up and do what I have to do. I’m giving back today.”
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