When there is graffiti in a community it is difficult not to notice. It not only stands out as an irritation but has substantial consequences. According to national surveys, many fear it is the warning beacon that community safety has declined and crime is on the rise. Graffiti cleanup has the potential to drain municipal budgets and create a loss of local revenue. The US Department of Justice identifies that graffiti contributes to lost revenue associated with reduced ridership on transit systems, reduced retail sales and declines in property value. Graffiti experts estimate that it costs $1-3 dollars per person to remove graffiti. In Santa Cruz County, this would generate a minimum expense of over $250,0000 per year. “Graffiti has the potential to drain community resources. Fortunately for Santa Cruz County residents, The Volunteer Center Graffiti Removal Project, has helped turn the tide on graffiti’s negative impact,” states County Supervisor Ellen Pirie. “The Program is a true success story. My constituents and I have turned to the program time and again to have graffiti removed from our neighborhoods, making them more attractive and safer.” states Pirie. The Project’s mission is to make local neighborhoods graffiti- free through sustained education and removal efforts. Studies indicate that consistent removal within 24-48 hours leads to a significant drop in vandalism. In the past year alone they have mobilized 300 concerned citizens to remove 219, 448 square feet of graffiti.