BALTIMORE — Rats, crime, poverty and corruption. President Donald Trump took on these serious issues in his recent comments about Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings. While it had many people defending Charm City, people who live in the most crime-ridden areas are glad their issues are being brought to light.
"It's not the people that are so bad around here. It's because of the poverty around here. Nobody's paying attention. No one cares. It's like a forgotten part of Baltimore," said West Baltimore resident Veronica Voodoo.
Voodoo has lived on North Avenue in West Baltimore for years and has witnessed the toll of crime and poverty.
"Baltimore was called Charm City. When I was growing up, people were lovely. People were nice. People were helpful. This has evolved into a war zone," said Voodoo.
She was surprised their latest ally in the fight to restore the area is President Donald Trump.
"I don't like him. I do believe that he's a racist, but the point he made hit me hard because I live in this community, and I've seen so many tragic things happen in this community. I see people hurting and needing things," said Voodoo.
"Those people are living in hell in Baltimore," said Trump.
"It is and that's the truth. The system has failed us," said Rev. Keith Bailey. "It should not be where people cannot walk the streets of Baltimore. It's dangerous."
Bailey is the president of the Fulton Heights Community Association. He said he's tried to get the city to do something about it but never got anywhere.
"I have counted over 200 houses that are vacant that people are living in that they shouldn't be in. They are vacant and boarded up and I really fear for the people's lives," said Bailey.
Now, with the President's comments about Baltimore being a rat and rodent infested mess and more dangerous than the Southern Border, Bailey and Voodoo hope their pleas will be taken seriously so they can start to see change.
They would also like to see an investigation into where federal money is going, something Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson have also recommended.
"I think it should have been done, to see where money is being poured out and nothing is being done," said Bailey.
"There are so many things I would love to do in this community to help these people, but I don't have any resources, and the people who do get the resources abuse them," said Voodoo.
At the Board of Estimates Wednesday, Mayor Jack Young said he will welcome House Republicans and the President for their annual retreat in September and hopes they will take that chance to explore Baltimore.