Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back from the brink

SAFEGROWTH DEFINED: Crime prevention and community building is best achieved within the neighborhood by harnessing the creative energy of neighborhood change agents and functional groups.

I'm on a roll with good news stories lately. Here's another one demonstrating the above.

Hurricane Katrina hammered it. Fifteen to 20 murders annually vexed it. Even homegrown rapper L'il Wayne once sang "Hollygrove ain't no muthaf**kin melrose".

No longer.

Hollygrove in New Orleans is born again. Not in the religious sense…though, maybe. SafeGrowth training through Louisiana AARP is part of this story (eg: read The Hollygrove Story and Bus Shelter Madness).

Fast forward…

Only four murders this year. What's down? Crime, by 78%. What's up? Community events, garden centers, and Night Out Against Crime. AARP-sponsored strategic planning sessions with residents charted new urban designs for elder-friendly places. The Hollygrove Walking Club now walks for health and peace.

Two weeks ago Hollygrove won a national MetLife Foundation award from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Watch this new video on their success story.

Here's another video, this one about their garden program.

The rappers are right. The hood's where it's at!