West End Grant coordinator seeks input during Town Hall events

Published 5:42 pm Monday, January 23, 2023

SALISBURY- The West End Grant staff is seeking community input next month as Salisbury Police, parks and recreation, and planning continue the research portion of the nearly $1 million grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) for West End crime prevention, recreational and public space development and youth.

Chanel Nestor, community project coordinator, will host the first Town Hall virtually, Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. The second Town Hall event will be held in-person Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Miller Recreation Teen Center. Register for the West End Neighborhood Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday at Salisburync.gov/WestEndPM or Thursday’s town hall at Salisburync.gov/WestEndAM.

Titled, the West End Salisbury Transformed Empowered Neighborhood Development (WEST END) $800,000 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program grant project seeks to use community-led initiatives to help revitalize the 1.21-square mile neighborhood and address its crime concerns. A majority of the programs will be data-driven and their results reported to the DOJ per grant requirements.

Specific plans include:

  • Develop West End community group to lead community-based responses
  • Complete neighborhood survey
  • Enhance recreational and public spaces for community groups
  • Develop a Community Violence Intervention Team
  • Create increased youth programs near the Miller Center and Hall Gym
  • Restore vacant lots and structures were possible

“As we begin the next step in the process of revitalizing the West End through the Byrne grant, it’s vital that we receive feedback from the community members who live, work and visit in the West End,” said Nestor. “We also will use this opportunity to distribute the first surveys, and begin to identify folks who should serve on the community group to drive much of the programming. Our goal is to use data and facts to truly impact the West End for the better.”

Long-plagued by economic, criminal and housing standard challenges, the West End is considered a “persistent-poverty area,” with one half of the neighborhood reporting 36 percent and other half reporting 23 percent living in poverty.

Refreshments will be served Thursday, Feb. 16.