Hidden Valley community holds prayer march for positive change

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – People living in Hidden Valley are demanding change to improve their community.

The Hidden Valley – Sugar Creek Road corridor is known for crimes ranging from drugs to assault to murders to homelessness.

Just in the first few days of the year, this community has seen its fair share of crime.

Today the community votes for MLK Day to call for positive change in Hidden Valley.

“You have human trafficking, number one, you have drugs, we have violence, we have these corridors where people are homeless. So when we look at these things, these aspects of the community, we want it to change,” said Charlene Henderson, the Hidden Valley Community Liaison.

The Hidden Valley Community Association chose MLK Day because the man behind it represents what they are praying and marching for.

“It’s a positive march, it’s positive and we’re trying to create positive change, not just here in this community, but in Charlotte as a whole,” said Melody Lyles of Hidden Valley.

The congregation prayed for the changes they wish for their neighborhood before marching blocks down Sugar Creek Road.

“We come together as a family, as a community, to say we care, we pray together no matter how different we are,” said resident Nick Bettis.

The community faces crime, fears of gentrification, and a lack of resources for those in need.

“Once you see the issues and have it right in front of you, you have no choice but to figure out how we can make this positive for the positive people out here,” Henderson said.

Community and faith leaders believe this march is the first step in calling to action.

“I think people need to see us coming together, not just here, but to see us and just have a seed planted to start and have our voices heard,” said Rev. AR Muwwakkil, pastor of the Baptist Church of life.

The Hidden Valley community wants:

  • To end crime in the area
  • Create development that does not displace people
  • Money for substance and resources for mental health
  • Affordable housing

“My prayer is to make sure this corridor gets the resources it needs,” Henderson said.

Community members want the city to pay attention to what’s happening in Hidden Valley and provide resources to support those struggling for a better life.

Related: Charlotte City Council approves an additional $20 million to fund affordable housing projects

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