Now, people just have to show up, and they should show up hungry.

Now, people just have to show up, and they should show up hungry.

Bruce T. Black, program manager for Neighborhood Pride, is hoping folks with all kinds of appetites turn out Oct. 4-8 when the concentration of city services comes to a section of Northland that was part of the very first effort a decade ago.

Black wants to see some people who are hungering for daily free lunches, hungering for some information on safety, hungering for a few words with the mayor and his cabinet and hungering for a neighborhood cookout, but hungering, most of all, for an increased sense of togetherness with the people who live right around them.

Although attendance has been sparse at Pride preview meetings for residents in the area only 13 eventually were on hand for the final one last week and community leaders have been a bit difficult to identify, Black predicted success for the program taking place during the first full week of October in the area defined on the north by Northcliff Drive and Green Apple Avenue, the south by Morse Road, the east by Cleveland Avenue and the west by Tamarack Boulevard and Avalon Avenue.

"We're going to make the day-to-day side of Pride work," he said at that final preview meeting at the Columbus Baptist Temple on Cleveland Avenue, which will serve as he Pride center during the week.

Still, Black admitted to those in attendance, the scheduling of the penultimate Pride week this year and the final one have left him somewhat short of time to get residents in the Northland neighborhood aware of what's about to occur. Black said he only just completed a Neighborhood Pride Week effort in the southwest part of Columbus, an area around Frank Road where some of the residents, unlike those who live in the Northland area, weren't even aware they resided in Columbus. Some of those people thought they resided in Grove City as a result of postal designations, the program manager said.

Because of that scheduling conflict, Black said that he needs help distributing literature alerting residents of the impending Neighborhood Pride, which brings to bear all the city services an area could receive over the course of around three years during a single week.

Northland Community Council president Dave Paul and George Schmidt, president of the Forest Park Civic Association, will be helping to ensure the 1,600 packets of literature are delivered, Black said.

In addition, he said that he approached officials at Northland High School, who were delighted at the opportunity seniors needing community service time to meet graduation requirements obtain it by spreading the word about Neighborhood Pride.

No specific activities are scheduled for the opening day of Neighborhood Pride, other than the free continental breakfast and free lunch in the Baptist Temple.

Tuesday will see a Neighborhood Safety Academy at the Pride Center from 6 to 9 p.m. In addition to advice offered from Division of Fire Personnel, Black said that Division of Police representatives will be offering information on gangs.

The Mayor's Bike Ride will travel through the neighborhood on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Michael B. Coleman and members of his cabinet will be on hand Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Pride Center starting at 6 p.m. in order to hear the concerns and gripes of local residents.

Finally, a Neighborhood Cookout will take place at the church beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 8.

"Every community has its own set or problems," Black told those on hand last week.

The section of Forest Park and nearby scheduled for Neighborhood Pride next week, he said, is in "really great shape" in terms of not having a plethora of vacant houses. However, Black added, there is "nothing going on" in terms of a sense of community.

While crime problems are not overwhelming in the area, there are serious issues not far away, Black said, which is something the Pride treatment hopes to address.

"It's trying to get people to understand you have to get off your porch and get involved," he said, "because if you don't, the bad guys are coming."

Black went on to admit later in the meeting that the magnetized metallic "Neighborhood Pride" signs had been stolen recently from his city vehicle while it was parked in the area.