Former inmates give back what they once helped destroy - - Jackson, MS

Former inmates give back what they once helped destroy

The City of Jackson's "Washington Addition" neighborhood is seen as an undesirable eyesore to many. But, after years of neglect, some positive change is showing up amidst the vacant lots and crime.

Timothy Liddell and John Knight are two of about five guys who spent Saturday morning in the smoldering heat, working up a sweat with their lawn equipment. They're starting to clean up Washington Addition, the neighborhood where they grew up.

"It's nothing like coming back home to help build your home back when you help tear it down because that's what I did," said Knight."

Knight and Liddell both spent years locked up in prison for dealing drugs. Now, they're changed men who are taking steps to revitalize part of the mess they created.

"I did a lot to these streets and the only way I can feel better about myself is to try to correct some of the mistakes I made and try to be a positive role model to the kids going down the path I went. Hopefully I can change their minds," said Liddell.

The men mowed the lawn outside of the home where Kenyatta Williams' grandmother lives.

"She's happy, she's happy my grandfather doesn't have to do it so that'll be good I really appreciate these guys," said Williams.

Knight said he and Liddell are respecting their Blessings and that means doing what they can to give back.

 "It's a Blessing to be able to be here to do these things for the senior citizens in Washington Addition because they deserve it. They don't need to be afraid to sit on their porch because somebody might be in the bushes," said Knight.

Liddell has this message for anyone traveling the path to prison.

"You really need to look at life and notice what you got out here because when you lose it you will look at it and say I messed up."

Liddell and Knight hope to get others involved in cleaning up Washington Addition. If you're interested you can call Timothy Liddell at 769-220-4774. You can also reach Liddell's wife Sonia Liddell at 601-307-5097.

Liddell said "Bringing about a Change," is the name of the group cleaning up Washington Addition. He's in the process of turning the group into a non-profit.


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