In November we held our first Conference for Neighborhood Leaders, where members of the community met with Safe Streets staff, UWT professors, representatives of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, and experts in social-emotional learning to learn about new initiatives that seek to provide healthy youth development, create area maps and provide important geographic information data (GIS) in order to understand the resources and gaps that exist in their neighborhoods. Now, we are seeing the results of the conference come to fruition.

In partnership with the UWT Center for Strong Schools, Urban Studies and School of Nursing, Safe Streets will effectively guide local change projects using new mapping techniques being developed. Neighborhood leaders can measure readiness for change, identify assets and desired changes, establish baseline measures to assess progress and strengthen neighborhood organized groups to implement livability change projects.

Safe Streets staff will be able to guide neighborhood leaders in how to conduct team problem solving to address challenges uncovered by this project, and support for each neighborhood will be provided to complete neighborhood/ GIS mapping.

This is a great new tool that will allow our members to see their Neighborhood Groups in a new light. it is a visual representation of assets and issues, giving them a head start on what changes need to be made in their community, and insight into the obstacles that might stand in the way.

We are very excited to have access to this new technology and cannot wait to see the impact it will have on our ability to increase community mobilization.

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