Vallejo Neighborhood Revitalization
Fighting Back Partnership’s Neighborhood Revitalization program is a comprehensive community intervention project, which improves the quality of life for residents in deteriorating high-crime neighborhoods. Through a strategic alliance between community non-profits, neighborhood groups, the business community, and available city agency personnel from police, fire, and code enforcement, thirty-two neighborhoods, throughout the city have been identified and improved since 1997. These dedicated groups of people comprise the Community Restoration “CORE Team.” As part of the revitalization intervention, neighborhood residents are provided with crime prevention training and organized into viable neighborhood block watches. This is spoken of in greater detail in the Crime Prevention segment.
The Neighborhood Revitalization program is currently funded through a generous grant from the Syar Foundation. The Syar Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of our revitalization work since 2004. Additionally, Fighting Back Partnership has received a Community Development Block Grant for 2011-2013 from the City of Vallejo Housing Authority for an intervention in the South Vallejo section of the city. This area has been designated as a Neighborhood Preservation Area by the City of Vallejo.
Neighborhood Revitalization is based on four complementary premises:
- 1. Physical signs and illegal activities in a neighborhood (such as high numbers of foreclosed or abandoned homes, squatters, prostitution, drug dealing, problematic liquor stores, and deteriorating housing) invite crime and disorder if left unchanged and has an important influence on its vulnerability to crime.
- Neighborhoods where residents have some level of commitment and shared interest in improving their environment can influence the level of crime.
- Individuals and families, as well as the greater community, must personally gain from the revitalization of an area. When people are drowning in problems such as unemployment, addiction, lack of child care and other social service needs, expecting their engagement in cleaning up their neighborhood is unrealistic. Provision of basic needs services dramatically improve a willingness to participate.
- Problems with drugs and alcohol can and do contribute to the overall level of area deterioration and require appropriate enforcement and policy interventions.
How Are Neighborhoods Selected For Revitalization?Vallejo has pockets of deterioration spread across the city as opposed to one primary area that could benefit from intervention. A Neighborhood Revitalization Program area can range from one or two blocks to as many as forty blocks in size. Currently the Core Team works with Fighting Back Partnership staff in considering the following criteria when selecting neighborhoods for inclusion in the project:
- Is there a high level of crime and violence as measured by the number of police calls for service? Crimes including drug trafficking, public drinking, prostitution, assaults, disorderly conduct are of concern to residents and serve to depress neighborhoods.
- Is there a significant level of physical deterioration present in the area? The team considers problems such as the number of abandoned cars, the presence of broken-down and/or abandoned housing; the level of upkeep of yards and other exterior space, and the presence of waste and debris. In recent years with the housing market collapse, we have seen many foreclosed homes taken over by the criminal element. This ultimately impacts the quality of life of the immediate neighborhood.
- Does the area have a block watch or other form of neighborhood association or are there concerned individuals in the area wishing to address neighborhood problems?
- Is there an alcohol outlet nearby contributing to neighborhood problems? Bars, liquor stores and convenience stores can dramatically contribute to neighborhood problems.
- What is the ratio of owner occupied vs. rental property in the area? Generally speaking, the higher the level of rentals in an area the more resources required to revitalize the neighborhood.
- Is the size of the troubled area amenable to revitalization with the resources available to the Core Team?
- Will revitalization of an area stimulate similar resident-driven projects in nearby areas?
- Will the area serve as an "epicenter" for other positive efforts?
For more information on how you can join or submit information to the CORE team, please contact:
John Allen Program Director
John Allen Program Director