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Non-profit paints boarded up homes

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You may have noticed some decorative paint on boarded up homes around the city.

It's a nationwide effort called the Artistic Board-Up, organized by the not-for-profit Neighborhood Foundation.  

Volunteers paint a gray basecoat over the City installed boards that cover the windows of foreclosed properties.  The boards are also retrofitted to cover the whole window, and trim is installed to make it harder for people to pry them off and enter illegally.

Volunteers then decorate the boards to make the home look occupied -- things like painting on addresses, faux-windows, even 2-D plants and furniture.

While the paint job doesn't eliminate the foreclosure, organizers say the facelift makes the property look cared for and creates a sense of community ownership.

So far this summer, the Neighborhood Foundation has painted 20 homes in five Milwaukee neighborhoods, including Metcalfe Park, Sherman Park, Washington Park, Thurston Woods and Amani.