A total community transformation will not be realized overnight, but progress and steps toward growth are unmistakably evident in Cray’s community building commitment. With a strong presence in ‘New Visions for Lawrence County’ introduced in the November, 2011 newsletter, Cray is collaboratively working as a coordinating agent among conversations, planning, and action. As of March, 2012, New Visions has hired Jackson/Clark Partners to expedite and bring structure to current brainstorming and disjointed efforts. Jackson/Clark has had tremendous success in organizing, advancing, and sustaining communities in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and there is great excitement and hope for the experience and passion they bring to the local challenges.
Additionally, Cray’s independent efforts to build community will be making significant progress in upcoming months as the ‘stage has been set’ for several projects. One of those is Cray’s acquisition and intent to reopen the former I Care House that will provide grass roots, neighborhood-based strategies for connecting with residents and developing a sense of community from within. Cray will again be facilitating the Summer Feeding Program at the Courthouse Annex and will utilize this program and a presence up the street at the house, as a means to spark and build connections in that neighborhood.
Strategies for using ‘top-down’ approaches in planning and ‘bottom-up’ approaches in neighborhoods are proving steady and starting to gain serious momentum, proving that small steps will make a huge impact and the inches of progress attained will find the community miles ahead of our biggest challenges.
Director of Community Building