The newly-revitalized Raindow de Colores Park in Eastern North Philadelphia. (Image via LISC)
The collaboration between local police and the community members of neighborhoods located on the eastern side of North Philadelphia was one of the main highlights at the “Safe Streets, Strong Communities” symposium, a national crime forum held last week in New York by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Police Foundation. The one-day symposium focused on how local police and community development groups have been working together to reduce crime where it’s happening most.
“Community development fights crime,” said Andrew Frishkoff, executive director of LISC Philadelphia, in a press release. “These are not isolated efforts to develop buildings on one side of the equation or to arrest offenders on the other. We think of them as part of the same whole that concentrates on making this community a better place for all our neighbors to live.”
Police have been collaborating with the nonprofit Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha to help reduce crime and change the bleak outlook for 12,000 residents in mostly low-income neighborhoods in North Philadelphia. One success story featured at the conference was how residents were able to revitalize the previously neglected and gang-controlled Rainbow de Colores Park with the help of the Philadelphia Police and several community groups. The area surrounding the park saw nearly a 50 percent decrease in crime a year after the project’s completion.
Several other community developments have made the neighborhood safer and healthier, including major investments in housing, health care, commercial revitalization, community gardens and parks and education. One of the more recent developments includes a LEED-Platinum Certified housing development in the area. Read Generocity’s story on the development here.
Learn more about the community collaboration in North Philadelphia here.
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