The City of Flint, through the City’s Blue Badge Volunteer Corps Program, invites neighborhood groups, block clubs and associations, community and civic groups, non-profit organizations, school groups or other interested parties to complete an Application Of Interest to participate in its Blight Elimination Initiative. Once an Application of Interest has been received volunteers will be offered an extensive range of hands-on training and technical assistance designed to facilitate a successful submission of the final required Blight Elimination Workplan and related documents.
What is the Blight Elimination Initiative?
With inaugural funding from a $25,000 Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant to the City the Flint Blue Badge Volunteer Corps is adopting a best practices Cities of Service approach to blight elimination that supports volunteers in addressing blight block-by-block.
What is the ultimate goal of this program?
The ultimate goal of this program is to reduce crime and improve properties in Flint neighborhoods through increased community involvement. The initiative also provides an opportunity for residents to address existing needs and create a sense of pride in Flint neighborhoods.
How can volunteers address blight?
The Blue Badge Volunteer Corps provides the training and support to volunteers working to improve public safety all across the city. Training and resources will be provided for volunteers to assist in the enforcement of blight ordinances, coordination of services and referrals, and volunteer cleanup activities. One of the partners in this initiative is Flint Neighborhoods United, a group of neighborhood based organization leaders who, along with the City, have recognized the potential for a greater impact when neighborhoods work together and build a “sense of community” through pride of ownership throughout the “neighborhood” of Flint.
How does blight elimination affect crime?
This program will offer information and resources to help selected volunteer groups learn about Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). This approach recognizes that blighted and abandoned properties, illegal dumping sites, lighting, and sight lines all affect crime and the perception of crime. Through this program groups will conduct a CPTED survey of a city block; engage neighbors in the development of a CPTED workplan for that block to reduce crime and fear of crime (including blight elimination); develop a budget to accompany the workplan; acquire resources for implementing the plan; and then steer the plan to successful completion.
How will this program differ from other property cleanup and maintenance efforts?
The efforts of Blue Badge Blight Elimination Volunteers will include developing comprehensive block-level plans, working with the City to enforce blight ordinances, and also coordinating with property cleanup and maintenance efforts already underway. Additional resources and services from the Impact Volunteering Fund grant are intended to complement existing neighborhood initiatives. As available, coordination of city resources is part of this program.
Who is eligible to be part of this program?
Eligible volunteer groups include, among others, neighborhood or tenant associations, block clubs, community and civic groups, non-profit organizations, K-12 and higher education institutions, and places of worship. Proposed projects must demonstrate community support and participation. Consideration will be given to proposals that can show evidence of a connection to “ownership” of the area (i.e. live, worship or work in the area), and thus provide some promise of sustaining the efforts of this initiative. Sustaining efforts would include a commitment to maintain the cleaned parcels at least through October 2013 and hopefully beyond.
Who determines what blocks will be cleared?
The applicant volunteer group has complete freedom in selecting the project block(s). Blocks may have as few as one or as many as an entire block of parcels that need to be addressed. Groups will receive training and assistance in developing work plans for the problem properties. The performance measures include square feet of graffiti removed, pounds of litter collected, number of trees planted and number of new green spaces or community gardens created.
What are the program’s timelines for participation?
One or more neighborhood revitalization events in the workplan must be scheduled to occur between April 1, 2013 and September 20, 2013.
Why is there an Application of Interest?
An Application Of Interest is the first of two requirements for becoming part of the Blue Badge Volunteer Corps’ Blight Elimination Service Team strategy and positioning your volunteer group for accessing resources made available thanks to the Impact Volunteering Fund grant and the City of Flint. Applications of Interest will be accepted beginning immediately through March 30, 2013. The second requirement is the submission of a Blight Elimination Workplan. Workplan submissions will be accepted beginning March 15, 2013 and continue as available resources permit.
What is included in a Blight Elimination Workplan?
Training and technical assistance for Workplan development will be available to any group and/or volunteer that submits an Application of Interest. City services and Impact Volunteering Fund grant funded services will only be available after an approved Workplan is in place. The documents that make up a final Blight Elimination Workplan include the following.
What are the reporting requirements should Workplan be accepted?
A Final Report project report with before and after photos will be required and must be submitted by no later than October 31, 2013.
Where can I learn more about the Blight Elimination Initiative?Contact: Flint Police Officer Tanya Meeks at firstname.lastname@example.org or (810) 237-6926. Visit: www.flintbluebadge.com website