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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A community is rallying around its own as they try to banish crime by sprucing up an apartment complex.

"Folks don't want to come here. Folks hear Pinehurst and they kind ofgo around the neighborhood," said Pastor Jon Weigel with Grace Chruch of Columbia.

Community groups in the Midlands are trying to refute that very statement. The Columbia Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Grace Church of Columbia teamed up to clean up.

"They don't have to be afraid to come down here because Pinehurst is a good community, this is my mother's community. And everywhere you go you've gotsome bad apples in the crowd," said Pinehurst resident, Willie Reese Jr.

He's also the hired groundskeeper of the Four Seasons Apartment complex. And he's hoping this sends a positive mesage to the younger residents.

"When you got something to look forward to that will spread to the little kids and the little kids out here are some wonderful kids," he said.

But unfortunately kids around here have seen gang graffiti and more.

"Our goal here is to end the open air drug dealing in this parking lot back here," said U.S. State Attorney, Bill Nettles."Open air drug dealing is the most toxictype of drug dealing because children see it, it's done in plain view and it undermines the fabric of community."

Volunteers are trying to brighten the area starting from the outside.

"You only feel as good as you look and so this gives them some pride in where they live," Nettles said.

"If you care about something, you do something," said Pinehurst Community President Brenda Oliver. "We care about this community, so we do something."

In just four short hours, volunteers are hoping to not only transform a community, but transform lives as well.

Nettles says this will be one of many clean-up phases within the community.

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