WARREN - Shawn Stambolia has spent much of the last month helping to board up houses, cut grass and do the maintenance on Gregg's Gardens properties around the city.
He has seen some of the city's worst properties. He also has heard expressions of heartfelt thanks for helping to clean up neighborhood blight.
Stambolia, 31, is a participant in a new, six-month pilot program created by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and Warren Municipal Court that lets selected probationers work off fines and costs and/or avoid going to jail on misdemeanor offenses.
He said he is working 142 community services hours.
"This is helping people who cannot afford it to pay off court fines," Stambolia said. "It also is helping to make neighborhoods safer by boarding up abandoned properties that I've seen kids going into."
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