The Coatesville Growing Greater project funded by The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation continues...
The Coatesville Growing Greater project funded by The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation continues...

Project Updates:

As a recipient of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation Planning Grant, we seek to better understand our neighbors; their challenges, their hopes, their priorities, so that we can strategically build outcomes that will improve the quality of their lives and enhance their environments.

 

The first part of the process happened in September of last year when we conducted a survey of more than 2700 properties, determining their physical conditions from an exterior assessment.  

 

The next steps included one-on-one interviews with more than 300 residents, identifying their challenges, needs, thoughts, and ideas about their lives, neighborhoods, and the City in general.

 

During this process, we've been meeting with community focus groups and individual stakeholders in an effort to build context around the findings that were becoming clearer and clearer with every meeting:

 

The priority concerns we hear over and over (in no particular order) are:

 

Community Safety

Resident Engagement

Jobs/Economic Opportunity

Youth Empowerment

 

 

With these priorities identified, we then developed task forces comprised of residents and professionals to develop creative strategic plans to address these issues.  The resulting strategies list was compiled from their work.

 

Community Safety

 
Strategies
 
1.1 - Initiate a network of block watch groups.
1.2 - Investigate the feasibility of launching the Coatesville Ambassadors program.
2.1 - Hold negligent landlords accountable and enforce existing nuisance property laws.
2.2 - Encourage positive community involvement from all property owners.
3.1 Increase opportunities for dialogue and communication.
3.2 Initiate cooperative fundraising campaign for enhanced policing technology.
4.1 - Help maintain a clean and safe public realm.

4.2 - Investigate the feasibility of installing additional street lighting and roadway marking (i.e., pedestrian crosswalks, centerlines, etc.).

 

Resident Engagement

 
Strategies
1.1 - Program small-scale, neighborhood festivals and mini-parades.
1.2 - Sponsor family-oriented, block-level competitions.
2.1 - Develop and maintain a community calendar/bulletin board (the proposed 19320 Today or similar publication) to promote existing resources and publicize events.
2.2 - Sponsor Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that include statistics and stories that illustrate program success.
3.1 - Identify block level leadership in different parts of the Study Area.
3.2 - Organize the clusters of block groups into neighborhood associations.
4.1 - Fuel a marketing campaign promoting Coatesville to prospective homebuyers living in Coatesville now and those renting elsewhere.
4.2 - Provide financial literacy/counseling tools to Study Area residents.
4.3 - Create/expand/use existing financial incentives (subsidized mortgage rates, tax abatements for acquisition/rehabilitation, etc.) and target strategic blocks/block-groups for “homesteading”. 

4.4 - Work with the Coatesville Housing Association to develop creative rent to own programs.

 

Jobs/Economic Opportunity

 
Strategies
1.1 - Enhance Coatesville Youth Initiative's ServiceCorps program to handle more youth participants and expand the array of job experiences.
1.2 Work with chronically unemployed and returning citizens to upgrade "soft skills" behaviors.
2.1 - Increase work access for Coatesville residents to nearby employers by expanding available public transportation service beyond the current routes/times of service of the Coatesville Link bus service.

3.1 - Effectively coordinate the delivery of available entrepreneurship support services to Coatesville resident/entrepreneurs.

 

Youth Empowerment

 

 

Strategies
1.1 - Compile a complete listing of formal and informal youth programs.
1.2 - Create a promotional program for youth and parents regarding available youth activity and identify media partners.
1.3 - Launch a Coatesville Youth and Parental Awareness Program.
2.1 - Determine from the youth survey compilation what services exist and their utilization rates.
2.2 - Determine what additional services are required to meet the demand in terms of activity content, time of day, and cost.
2.3 - Convene formal and informal programs and discuss collaboration on existing programs and partnerships to develop and operate new programs.
2.4 - Identify funding for program expansion and to fill programming gaps.
3.1 - Create a committee to oversee feasibility study.
3.2 - Review recommendations from the feasibility study and select a model best suited for Coatesville.
3.3 - Present community center proposal to the community and start raising funds.

 

 

Next Steps:

Over the course of the next few weeks our Steering Committee will be working with our consultants on the project to build the final report to submit to the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation.  Upon completion, the report will be posted here on this site.

 

If the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation looks favorably on our process thus far and our final report, we will make application to them in the fall for additional funding to implement the plan.

 

 

For more information, please contact our office at 484-786-8896.

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