Neighborhood centers in the city of Rochester will receive a $7.1 million boost to build capacity and empower residents to meet community needs.
The multiyear investment to support the Neighborhood Collaborative Project was announced late last week, as part of the Bring Monroe Back recovery initiative, which is responsible for allocating American Rescue Plan Act funds. The NCP brings nearly two dozen organizations together.
“As county executive, I have been actively finding opportunities to decentralize services and bring resources into neighborhoods. We cannot expect people to travel long distances to multiple sites to receive the services they need,” says Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “The Neighborhood Collaborative Project meets people where they live, empowers neighbors and neighborhoods, and builds capacity in organizations that people know and trust.”
NCP aims to build service capacity within neighborhood community organizations. The project will engage in grassroots outreach, walking neighborhoods, talking to residents, hosting pop-up events, and bringing new services to community organizations that are already familiar to residents, officials say.
These efforts are expected to build community relationships and create a feedback loop to identify community needs. Residents will drive solutions to problems that are specific to the community they live in.
NCP will be facilitated by an oversight committee that includes fiscal sponsor Community Resource Collaborative and the following anchor agencies and project partners:
■ S.W.A.N. at Montgomery Center (Southwest Rochester)
■ The Father Tracy Advocacy Center (North Clinton Ave.)
■ Cameron Community Ministries (Lyell-Otis Neighborhood)
■ Beyond the Sanctuary
■ MC Collaborative
■ C3 Consultancy Services
■ On The Ground Research.
The committee will also work with other groups including:
■ Lyell Avenue Business Association
■ The People’s Pantry
■ Barakah Muslim Charity
■ Lincoln, Lyell and Phillis Wheatly libraries
■ Fidelis Care
■ Action for a Better Community’s Action Front Center
■ Trillium Health Harm Reduction
■ Third Presbyterian Church
■ Baden Street Counseling Center
Lawmakers weighed in on the allocation of ARPA funds. Rep. Joseph Morelle pointed to the Community Resource Collaborative’s work to uplift young people and connect them with resources after a traumatic event.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, calls the NCP “a perfect example” of building for the future and strengthening communities.
The project relies on collaboration to create a sustainable services platform for neighborhoods. It will go toward addressing issues important to communities and improving neighborhood conditions
Pending approval by the County Legislature, Monroe County will contract with the
Community Resource Collaborative on behalf of the Neighborhood Collaborative Project. The NCP is likely to begin work early next year.
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.
I am glad to see that NCP is partnering with the neighborhood libraries. Libraries have become community centers with services for children and adults that reach way beyond reading and learning. The work they are doing to help patrons is an exceptional example of public service.