Annie Slaughter moved to the Beallwood community at a very unique time in the neighborhood’s history.
It was in 1994, when the neighborhood was overrun with drug dealers and users, that the residents banded together to “take back their streets” and formed B.A.N.D., the Beallwood Area Neighborhood Development, Inc. This was also Annie’s first year in her home on 11th Avenue.
Through the years, members of B.A.N.D. have worked together to rezone their properties from residential after they were zoned commercial without their knowledge, held community cleanups, sponsored enhancement programs for children, started a community garden , and attended Leadership Academy Classes held by the city.
Annie Slaughter is a vital piece of that rich community activism, having served as membership chair, working with sick and shut -ins in the neighborhood, chairing the building’s rental, fundraising and bereavement committees
She has come to love her neighborhood.
“There have been a lot of improvements. It’s pretty quiet; we try to keep it drug-free. I ‘m proud of the park, and I don’t want to leave,” she said.
As the latest recipient of the Columbus Cottage Program, Annie won’t have to go anywhere.
After (nearly) 40 years, my house was falling down, and I didn’t have the money to remodel it, so I’m appreciative of all (NeighborWorks) is doing,” she said.
The Columbus Cottage Program is designed to help elderly residents in the city who are at risk because their living conditions are not safe and they don’t have the money to make necessary repairs. Eligible recipients are impoverished senior citizens who own their homes.
Through the program, their current homes are demolished and a new one is built in the same place; this way, these deserving people can spend the rest of their lives living comfortably in the neighborhoods they have come to love.
“I’m very excited,” Annie said. “I picked my own colors, and I’m excited to live here the rest of my life.”
Annie, originally from Hurtsburo, Alabama, has been in Columbus since 1963. She has worked several jobs through the years but retired in 2006 after nearly 21 years in housekeeping for Midtown Medical Center. She is the widow of Mr. Willie Slaughter and has five children.
In her retirement, she spends her days volunteering at the B.A.N.D. Center once a week, gardening, fishing and visiting sick and shut in members of the community.
Annie received the keys to her new cottage in December 2016.