NeighborWorks, when Neighbors Work

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About 3 years ago  I was able to spend a week attending a NeighborWorks community development/stabilization conference and classes.  A few weeks prior, I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I KNEW it would not be easy to attend as all of my pregnancies have been “high risk”, however  “not easy “  was an understatement.  In between violently vomiting (all day “morning sickness”), sharp muscle spasms in my back,  and having a condition which produced excessive  saliva, I was able to network with others dedicated to community development and rebuilding blighted urban areas.  It was one of the most draining and yet- exciting times in my life, especially being that it was held in New Orleans….a city not fully recovered from the Katrina devastation. 

I can not believe that was nearly 3 years ago. Ironically,  like in childbirth the pains and hardship one endures in that time (before and during labor) become a memory, once that which you anticipate has arrived.  Now, it’s just the growing pains.

We have  hundreds of  Non-Profits in the West End of Atlanta and many new businesses come to our NPU seeking support with this status and mission to help rebuild. Most claim to do  community development, or provide homebuyer resources.  Honestly, I have seen very little impact from any agency within my neighborhoods.  Yes, we do have UCDC (University Community Development Corporation) who have successfully participated in the NSP program-  rehabed and resold homes to a few owner occupants. However, the success ratio of these non-profits make it very difficult for me to support them.

 Why are those who have made it their business to redevelop communities limited in their accomplishments? Some will say they are lacking financial resources (grants are limited) and others may be lacking support.  I personally believe the “business” of  community development can not be a 9-5 Mon- Friday business alone.   There were many things I learned during the week in New Orleans,  one thing that resonates throughout my community is that a stabilized safe  neighborhood can not be built without resident involvement.  In our communities, what I do see are  neighbors with no affiliation to anything, nor  “C3’s”   bringing in new residents, orchestrating clean ups, and public safety meetings.

 In that spirit, this January 2013, Area West Realty will  join with  “Committed To Communities” in their event sponsored by The Beltline Team, Invest Atlanta and Wells Fargo Neighborhood Lift on a mission to support our neighbors with their efforts of community development.   During this time, we will showcase available homes,  affordability programs and some of the best features in our communities.  We are making available, the City of Atlanta, bank reps and * RRC for one on one (no-strings-attached) conversations.  We only need YOU

Mark your calendar January 12th for this event. We appreciate our neighbors and will have special “Thank You’s” for YOUR community development efforts.  ( more information to come).

Side Note:

Reynoldstown Revitalization Corporation, or RRC has successfully helped many potential home owners work on their credit, understand the home buying and ownership process.

I  also encourage those in the business, and neighbors NOT in the business,  to invest in additional training at NeighborWorks America.  The information received is priceless, the connections made will change lives.

For information on past Committed to Communities events.

…your zip code please..?

Why did the store clerk ask me for this?  More importantly, why was I embarrassed?  I don’t like providing stores with ANY of my information, however in 2006, I HATED to give out my zip code. Among the comments received, “Whoa isn’t that the top foreclosure location?”   Then I would get defensive and explain the mortgage fraud situation – that these homes were all empty and how our communities were robbed of values, neighbors leaving us blighted although it was no fault of our own.  (yes, the entire long story)

However, from the strictly informative side- forget the long story- when I looked up my zip code I was a bit shocked by what I read.  Believe me,I’m not  ignorant about my community but I do not think the numbers paint an accurate picture.  I think these numbers have actually slowed our economic development and revitalization efforts.  On the contrary, we do have resilient neighbors and I am proud to say, despite the Black/White numbers on paper- we are thriving in the Grays!

Here is  information on a few zip codes I service:

30309

30309 is a densely populated, upscale urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily white, and mostly single. At $420,800 the average home value here is a bit higher than average for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area, so this probably isn’t the place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 33.4. There are 10,415 men and 8,324 women. The median age for men is 34.2 while for women the median age is 32.3.

30310

30310 is a urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. Median household income here ($24,604) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($69,700) is significantly lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this is probably a great place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 33.2. There are 16,121 men and 17,477 women. The median age for men is 31.3 while for women the median age is 34.9.

30311

30311 is a urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. Median household income here ($27,512) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($94,400) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains. The median age here is 33.9. There are 15,704 men and 19,526 women. The median age for men is 30.7 while for women the median age is 36.4.

30318

30318 is a urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. Median household income here ($28,589) is significantly lower than US average ($56,604). The population is primarily African-American, younger, and mostly single. The average house value here ($87,600) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.

30327

30327 is an affluent (median household income: $114,674) upscale urban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily white, older, and mostly married couples. At $541,000 the average home value here is a bit higher than average for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area, so this probably isn’t the place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 42.4. There are 10,111 men and 10,892 women. The median age for men is 42 while for women the median age is 42.8

30331

30331 is a rural zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($98,800) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains. The median age here is 32.6. There are 20,112 men and 24,332 women. The median age for men is 30 while for women the median age is 34.8

30344

30344 is a suburban zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily African-American, and mostly single. The average house value here ($86,200) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 30.4. There are 17,390 men and 19,363 women. The median age for men is 28.5 while for women the median age is 32.4.

30349

30349 is a rural zip code in Atlanta, Georgia. The population is primarily African-American, younger, and mostly single. The average house value here ($96,100) is lower than in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metro area as a whole, so this could be a great place to look for housing bargains.The median age here is 29.3. There are 25,720 men and 29,519 women. The median age for men is 28.2 while for women the median age is 30.2.

What does google say about your Neighborhood?

Have you searched your community online? If you’re reading this blog, I’m sure you have!  Did you see more crime stats and warnings about your neighborhood opposed to the great things YOU know the community offers?    If so, it’s time for YOU to get  to Tweeting, Facebooking, Yelping and link that neighborhood into positive press!  

Most of our communities on the Westside are in a redevelopment or revitalization stage. We are actively recruiting home buyers.  With this in mind, did you know 88% of the people searching for a home review homes on the Internet FIRST.  After they’ve found a home, what do you think they look for next? Of course, ‘information on the community’ the home resides in!   It is important to  spread the good news occurring within our communities; don’t let the MEDIA develop the image; WE live here!   This is why I believe in writing positive reports and comments about the communities I serve in public forums. 

It’s disappointing when communities do not maintain or have a website.  What does this say about your neighborhood? Are you inactive and blighted?   Not innovative but outdated?  Disconnected and unconcerned about sharing your events? If you are disconnected and unconcerned, how safe can it be to live by  you?

 Here is a great solution,  Neighborhood Link will host your website FREE.  It’s  “plug and play”- just enter the information and it’s already designed.

A few other great sites:

Patch, Everyblock

These sites are syndicated- which means they will be picked up in a search -yes, on google.  The more you write- the positive press will move up in the search results.

Get to writing and see the difference you can make in your community!

NPU-T Community Meeting Tonight!

Reminder:
Neighborhood Planning Unit-T
General Body meeting tonight at 7PM
Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club- 1191 Donnelly Ave (behind Krogers)

More info on NPU-T: http://www.NPUTAtlanta.org
Join the Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/nput_members

Come out! Be informed! Participate! Make real decisions for our communities.

Nia Knowles
NPU-T, Chair
404-414-3289

NPU-T Google Group

http://groups.google.com/group/nput_members

Communities of SW Atlanta within NPU-T:

West End/historic West End

Westview

Beecher Donnelly

Collegetown

Booker T. Washington/Ashview Heights

Villiages of Castleberry Hill

Take a peep and find out what we are talking about in town Atlanta.

NPU-T, The Beltline and The Braves Night Out!!

You’re invited to celebrate a Beltline Night Out with NPU-T, thanks to Turner Broadcasting!  NPU-T received a generous amount of tickets to Tuesday, September 15th game of the Braves vs Mets!

If you live within NPU-T- West End, Beecher Donnelly, Collegetown, Booker T. Washington, Villages of Castleberry Hill or attend one of the colleges within the AUC and would like a ticket- please send me an email(niaknowles@gmail.com) or txt at 404-414-32893