What is Healthy Neighborhoods?
Healthy Neighborhoods is a group of community focused people transforming the Tree Street Neighborhood of downtown Lewiston.
The definition of what a successful neighborhood looks like will be informed by neighbors, and expected to emerge and evolve over time. The Healthy Neighborhoods Network currently defines the key components of a healthy neighborhood as:
- Affordable, safe and lead-free housing
- Access to medical care, healthy food and nutrition education, and safe places to exercise and play
- Available employment and training
- Places and ways to nurture social connections and access social supports
Can I be part of Healthy Neighborhoods?
Do you live, work, play, or simply care about the Tree Street Neighborhood? Do you want good things to happen in your community? Then you belong in this network of people! Seriously.
No matter your age, gender, religion, ethnicity, level of income, level of education, disability status, or favorite color. If you spend your time in the Tree Streets, your thoughts are a valuable part of Healthy Neighborhoods projects.
Where is the Tree Street Neighborhood?
- Ash Street to Maple Street (West to East)
- Park Street to Jefferson Street (South to North)
But consider that a flexible border - the neighbors who live and work in the surrounding area are a valued part of the Healthy Neighborhoods Network too!
What is the Healthy Neighborhoods Planning Council (HNPC)?
There are lots of people who can be considered part of the Healthy Neighborhoods Network. The HNPC is a group of 15 individuals elected (through an electronic ballot open to the public) to lead the work of the whole coalition/network of partners. The Council is expected to develop and support projects that help make the Tree Street Neighborhood a healthy community.
Goals for Composition of Planning Council:
- Represent marginalized and under-served groups: Seniors, Youth, Women, LGBTQ, Limited-income, and people with a disability
- No less than 1/3 of the voting seats shall personally or professionally represent Seniors, youth, LGBTQ, those with disabilities, those with limited-income
- No less than ½ of the voting seats shall identify as women
- Fully represent the breadth of our ethnic community, including ethnic led businesses, women, youth, and health focused groups; and displays the diversity within our ethnic community (i.e. country of origin, language, culture)
- No less than 1/3 of the voting seats shall self-identify as people of color and or immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and asylees
As our voting representatives are selected, we seek an equitable distribution of grassroots, municipal, for profit, non-profit and volunteer representatives (diverse sizes/resources)
Why have I never heard of Healthy Neighborhoods?
Marketing is hard! But it's something we're working on.
Healthy Neighborhoods is both the name of this coalition/network of people and the goal we have for the Tree Street Neighborhood (and larger community). Often, Healthy Neighborhoods is in the background suppporting one of our partners' good works.
Think of participating in the Healthy Neighborhoods Network as a way for you to find new projects that interest you or find people who can help make your good ideas happen!
What is the Choice Neighborhoods Grant?
The City of Lewiston and Community Concepts, Inc. applied together for a highly competitive national grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This planning grant is awarded to cities in an effort to revitalize distressed subsidized housing. In 2018, a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant was awarded to Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Lewiston, ME.
The Healthy Neighborhoods Planning Council (HNPC) is tasked with governing the transformation plan created for the City of Lewiston - not only will HNPC work to make sure the transformation plan is designed based on community desires and needs, but HNPC is also responsible for making sure there are partners ready to implement the plan.
How can I share my opinions on ideas for the City?
While HNPC will be voting to approve of reject proposals for the Tree Street Neighborhood Transformation plan, there will be many opportunities to share input with the Council before, during, and after proposals are being considered.
- HNPC meetings (2nd Tuesday of Each Month, 2-4 PM @ Community Concepts - 240 Bates St) always open to the public
- HN Community Dinners (2nd Tuesday of Each Month, 5-7 PM @ St Mary’s Nutrition Center) open to all, a great place to enter
- Network Organizer 1:1 - schedule a meeting with the HN Network Organizer and/or a HN Planning Council Member
- Follow @healthyneighborhoodsla on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date.
I'm skeptical that you guys are getting anything done.
That's not actually a question, but we appreciate your skepticism!
Because the HN Network (HNPC and Advisory group) is a group of people with long histories in Lewiston, we are not strangers to hearing false promises or surveys with little follow-up, and we recognize that some of this work seems to take way too long!
There ARE many examples within our network of people getting things done and projects that exist RIGHT NOW in the community (See "Our Projects" tab). And because the City of Lewiston received the national "Choice Neighborhoods Grant," we're in a unique position to work together and make major improvements to housing & neighborhood resources downtown.
The truth is, the more interested individuals we have committed to helping support good projects, the faster changes come. Your skeptical voice is valued - don't hesitate to share your thoughts or concerns!