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Kids from Cleveland’s projects head to suburbs for trick-or-treating: A Greater Cleveland

November 2, 2017

Kids from Cleveland’s projects head to suburbs for trick-or-treating: A Greater Cleveland

CLEVELAND, OH – It’s Halloween night. Contessa Korper’s three youngest children are ready for action - 6-year-old Princess wearing devil horns, 8-year-old King donning a superhero mask and 11-year-old Queen Ona posing as a genie.

Contessa loads them in her car and takes them for a spin through the dark and often dangerous streets surrounding their home in the King Kennedy public housing project on Cleveland’s East Side. But she finds no welcoming lights or signs of other trick-or-treaters.

“It’s dead,” she says. “Nobody wants to get jumped.”

So, Contessa keeps driving east into suburban Shaker Heights, where little superheroes and monsters are roaming more welcoming streets. She spots a house decorated with orange and green lights. Before her vehicle even comes to a complete stop, the back doors open.

Halloween officially begins for the Korper kids.

While their costumes are not as elaborate as many of the other children’s, their exuberance makes up for it. They sprint to the front door.

Contessa feels she needs to drive the children because the homes that actually have their lights on for trick-or-treat are few and far between. The streets are lined with the cars of other parents doing the same thing.

“I feel like a valet driver,” Contessa says after shuttling everyone around for over an hour. The smile on her face hints that she’s enjoying the chance to see her kids have so much fun.

Halloween comes and goes and it’s time to go back to the housing projects. In addition to getting their bags full of candy, the Korper kids have had a chance to experience another way of life.

It was an evening where they could actually be outside after dark, in a place where the danger was only make-believe.