On Saturday, Sept. 12, 13 Avondale residents became the founding members of Avondale Block Leaders, a group of residents who are volunteering to keep their neighbors informed and involved in neighborhood and city-wide activities. These individuals will also serve as the liaison between the residents and the Avondale Neighborhood Association.
Avondale lies in the heart of 37406 zip code, and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chattanooga. Blight, along with high crime rates, in recent years has created an environment where many residents do not feel safe but still have a strong love for their community. These residents are taking a stand to reclaim their streets and improve their neighborhood.
Dr. Everlena Holmes, a resident of Glenwood, formed a similar group in Glenwood in 2008. She recently received a $2,500 Causeway grant to design a model for better connecting the Avondale neighborhoods to the City of Chattanooga.
Each Avondale block leader will promote four things: 1) physical revitalization of their block through reporting code violations, including overgrowth and promoting neighborhood cleanup events; 2) neighborhood safety by reporting and monitoring vacant houses, streets, and suspicious activity; 3) social revitalization through welcoming new residents and connecting neighbors to each other at block parties and other social events; and 4) community empowerment by informing residents of events and community meetings, and organizing voices for area concerns.
Dr. Holmes, along with college and high school students, have canvassed nine of the 52 streets in the Avondale Neighborhood. This fall, she and the students will continue to canvas other streets to obtain the names and contact information of every one who lives and does business in Avondale in order to publish a neighborhood directory. They will also recruit more block leaders.
Residents and other Chattanooga neighborhoods interested in learning more about the program can reach Dr. Holmes at email@example.com or (423) 622-0974.
Source: Avondale Block Leaders