Promoting Assets, Reducing Crime (PARC), an initiative of the Near West Side Partners led by the Center for Peacemaking, engages neighborhood anchor institutions, residents, city leaders and other stakeholders to promote assets and reduce crime in Milwaukee’s Near West Side.
This Fall, the PARC team met weekly to collaborate and complete revitalization projects in the Near West Side.
With Marquette alumna Dia Henderson as housing resource coordinator at Near West Side Partners, two major housing initiatives were achieved. The Live, Work, Play Program is a housing incentive program offered to current and potential residents that includes a rental incentive, home repair grant and homeownership down payment incentive. NWSP has received nine applications for the homeownership incentive and 21 applications for the home repair grant program.
In collaboration with Reclaiming Our Neighborhood (RON) Coalition, the 2022 Housing Survey wrapped up in September. This survey recorded the external conditions of single and double family homes in the Near West Side and was led with three main goals in mind:
- Assist homeowners and renters in making repairs to their properties
- Identify and connect renters to resources
- Rehabilitate vacant boarded properties
NWSP surveyed all seven neighborhoods of the Near West Side, which resulted in over 2,270 completed housing surveys with the help of NWSP staff, Marquette students and over 20 residents.
The NWSP commercial corridor team, led by commercial corridor coordinator and Marquette alumna Anne Marie Gunn, successfully held Rev-Up MKE, the annual small business competition, in September. 2022 Rev-Up MKE champion, Vertical Essence Dance Company, is just one of several businesses planning to open in the Near West Side this year.
The Vliet Street Fall Festival was attended by over 200 Near West Side residents with games, treats and great community participation.
With several new NWSP ambassadors, the safety team was able to complete hundreds of blight reports, guide student groups through clean-ups of storefronts and hold business check-ins. The team continues to see increased business engagement and positive responses to projects.
In September, the PARC student team kickstarted the annual resident survey. The health working team modified questions to provide more information on the social determinants of health with a focus on healthy eating and access to telehealth. The survey concluded in late November with over 600 responses, beating the previous record of 550 responses.
In partnership with Wisconsin Community Services, the health working team and NWSP staff hosted a community building skills training for employees at partner organizations in early December. The successful training focused on skills for building empathy and authentic connections and relationships.
The PARC Team looks forward to 2023 and all the accomplishments to come for Milwaukee’s vibrant Near West Side.