Monday, July 9, 2012

SafeGrowth in San Diego

SafeGrowth team member and local resident John Thurston
took this photo of Fairmont Village [Photo John Thurston Photography]

A year ago we completed SafeGrowth training in Fairmont Village, a neighborhood in San Diego. We set up neighborhood leadership teams to tackle neighborhood problems. I'm thrilled to say they're still at it! 

Coordinated by Jessica Robinson from San Diego State University's Consensus Organizing Center and assisted by nationally renown crime analyst Julie Wartell, project team members are still doing the hard work to make their neighborhood a better place to live. 

Project sponsor, Price Charities has a long history of neighborhood philanthropy involving revitalization and safety in the larger area called City Heights, the region encompassing Fairmont Village.

City Heights has overcrowded schools, parks and streets in disrepair, and 37% of residents below the poverty line. In the 3 years prior to 2010, Fairmont Village suffered 63 robberies and 94 burglaries. 

Housing in City Heights [Photo John Thurston Photography]
CPTED theory predicts robbers and burglars are emboldened when streets are empty and neighborhoods in disarray. The SafeGrowth leadership teams tackled those concerns. Their SafeGrowth projects reflected that:
  • fixing a troubled street plaza
  • CPTED in schools 
  • an "adopt a trash can" image and maintenance project, and 
  • improved walkability through pedestrian safety.                                                                       
They were able to enhance city development work that spruced up the business area and revamped a local school. Leadership teams extended that into livability and walkability.

In fact Price Charities has now hired a full-time crime prevention coordinator and Jessica continues to help organize. She has created a great new website to describe the initiative. Check out their City Heights Safety Initiative website.