Neighborhood safety and authentic resident engagement are cornerstones of neighborhood revival and efforts to stimulate retail and commercial investment. A clean and safe neighborhood not only benefits residents, but also potential inhabitants, employees, businesses, and the greater community.
Presently SINA improves neighborhood safety and cleanliness by providing backbone support to build the SAFE (Safety Alliance for Everyone) coalition, engaging resident organizations, institutions, and other stakeholders to address safety and blight. Click here to see the video showing the work accomplished in 2019. The efforts of SAFE have resulted in three main actions:
Clean up Competitions – SAFE has hosted six clean up competitions since the summer of 2018. At these events, teams of 6 to 8 volunteers receive points based on bags of trash collected, social media posts, and request submitted to the Hartford 311 app which reports items such as potholes and bulky trash violations to the city. These events bring together Hartford residents, members of institutional partners, and other stakeholders. Every competition ends with a barbecue and the winning team goes home with medals and bragging rights. If you’re interested in participating, please join our email list. Visit our photo gallery to see more pictures of past competitions.
Love Your Block Community Beautification Projects – The Love Your Block grant gives residents the opportunity to apply for a $1,000 mini-grant to beautify their street. SAFE received a grant in 2019 to beautify Wolcott Street with a community mural. The idea came from a street resident. She and her neighbors brainstormed the theme of the mural and participated in painting. In 2020 we plan to finish installing a playground on the vacant lot next to the mural built from wood and recycled tires from the City of Hartford. We also are engaging with residents to plan a Love Your Block project on a vacant lot near the corner of Broad and Madison Street.
Neighborhood Pride and Neighborhood Fun – In 2019 SAFE organized the first annual Holiday Decoration Competition on Wolcott and Madison Street. Residents voted on which house they thought was best decorated. The winner this year was the new homeowner of one of the houses SINA recently completed on Wolcott Street. Winners received gift cards to Home Depot to encourage further investment in their properties. During the winter of 2020 SAFE also hosted two family movie days. SAFE will continue to bring people together for free and safe fun. If you have any ideas please share them by emailing Lsingerman@sinainc.org or posting on the SAFE Facebook page.