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SafeGrowth Training To Increase Neighborhood Safety & Cohesion

Teams in five Toledo neighborhoods are implementing “early-win” projects--small changes like creating neighborhood gathering places or adding lighting--that make a huge impact on safety concerns and local pride.

The SafeGrowth cohort has been hard at work! During the summer, LISC held a training series to increase community safety and neighborhood revitalization in five target neighborhoods. The SafeGrowth training brought together the Toledo Police Department, community partners, and neighborhood leaders to learn how to make their communities safer by evaluating the physical conditions and environment, while strengthening social cohesion among residents and partners. Hands-on experience, engaging the community, and assessing neighborhood conditions are successful components to develop place-based strategies. The cohorts will be implementing “early-win” projects that address safety and neighborhood stability. Small changes like creating neighborhood gathering places or adding lighting can make a huge difference to address safety concerns, increase neighborhood engagement and stability, and support strong housing markets.  To learn more about SafeGrowth or how to support any of the teams mentioned below, contact Robyn at rhall@lisc.org. Thanks go to Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing for project support and LISC Safety for bringing the SafeGrowth training to Toledo.

East Toledo – SafeGrowth participants engaged community members to address residents’ concerns about accessing services at the East Toledo Family Center. Participants and residents worked together to replace overgrown shrubbery, improving visibility around the Center. Further improvements are planned, including the addition of nearby seating areas to discourage loitering in the parking lot. 

Englewood – Based on resident input, SafeGrowth participants connected with an Arts Commission mural project underway to activate a cinderblock wall and overgrown shrubs that faced the school and the safe school route. Students from nearby Robinson Elementary School and residents helped with the mural, enlivening the wall and creating a “sense of place.” The team is using this opportunity to unite neighborhood groups around common goals.

Junction – Improved lighting, trash cans, and bus benches are the top priorities SafeGrowth participants identified to enhance revitalization efforts along the Dorr Street Corridor in the Junction neighborhood. Future phases of the plan include pavement repairs and attractive landscaping to increase community pride and bolster safe transit to school and the Mott Branch Library.

Cherry/OWENI – SafeGrowth participants developed a plan to improve safety in the unique alley-facing neighborhood and affordable housing by cutting back overgrowth in vacant lots, increasing lighting, and repairing a long-standing water leak. The plan also includes a community gathering place and garden. This team was able to connect with residents of Unity Walk and strengthen their neighborhood connections.

Uptown – Focusing on the Ten Eyck Towers building, SafeGrowth participants found that key improvements to sidewalks and the removal of overgrown shrubs from adjacent lots would not only improve residents’ sense of safety, but also their ability to access local resources such as the Ebeid Institute and Market on the Green.