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Newbille seeks to recognize Richmond City Promise Neighborhood Initiative

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The agenda for Monday evening’s City Council city council meeting (PDF) includes a resolution sponsored by the 7th District’s Cynthia Newbille commending the Richmond City Promise Neighborhood Initiative (PDF) in their efforts to acquire a Promise Neighborhood grant.

The Richmond City Promise Neighborhood Planning Committee includes leaders from the Better Housing Coalition, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, City of Richmond, Communities in Schools of Richmond, East End Partnership with Families, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Peter Paul Development Center, Richmond City Public Schools, RRHA, VCU, VCU Health Systems, YMCA of Greater Richmond, and others.

Based on the successes of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) (more on HCZ on This American Life), Promise Neighborhood grants are part of President Obama’s vision of “a new federal approach to America’s [urban] high-poverty areas”:

Successful strategies to address concentrated, intergenerational poverty are comprehensive in nature and address the full range obstacles that stand in the way of poor children. One highly- acclaimed model is the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, which provides a full network of services to entire needy neighborhoods from birth to college. By providing comprehensive supports to an entire community of low-income families, the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) has made amazing progress over the last decade. [...]

The sites for Promise Neighborhoods will be selected by the federal government after review of applications from cities in conjunction with their existing non-profit social service organizations and school districts. Prior to implementation of the Promise Neighborhoods, a comprehensive long-term business plan will be developed with neighborhood residents, local community organizations, local business, school districts, city and state governments, and economic development researchers. [...]

Promise Neighborhoods will work with neighborhood organizations to provide:

  • Counseling for new parents on goal-setting and proper care of infants and young children
  • Early childhood education and high-quality child care
  • Extended day and extended year school programs
  • Safe and educational after-school programs for all resident children; programs will place a strong emphasis on cultivating meaningful parent involvement
  • Crime prevention support programs that engage both young people and community residents to implement proven anti-crime activities
  • Technology training to area youth and adults
  • Job training and internship placement to resident youth by developing and maintaining strong ties to the region’s private sector
  • Community health facilities that provide basic and preventative health care services and train residents on healthy living techniques, including proper nutrition, exercise and development of healthy living spaces
  • Resources that strengthen families including family counselors and social workers and
    anti-domestic violence programs

  • Financial counseling for entire families that includes emphasizing stable employment, personal savings and home ownership
  • Effective leadership development training to ensure that Promise Neighborhood programs are sustainable and staffed by local residents.

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