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NC3’s Smoketown Community Engagement Mapping project begins with smiles!
On Tuesday, a large group of folks (thirty!) gathered together at The Presbyterian Community Center for the first section of the Smoketown CEM map. I’m just now writing about it because it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since we finished up on that beautiful evening!
I facilitated a training for mappers along with Michael Poindexter, who is on the Data team here at NC3. There were a few Network members in the room, but most of the folks who attended were somehow involved with Habitat for Humanity, which is a partner organization to NC3. The first thing we did was set up the room— and the folks from Habitat were immediately asking how they could support the setup process. That was a really great way to start the evening.
As people filled the room, warm smiles and greetings began as folks asked if they were in the right spot.
We did something new with this training in that we incorporated a few parts of Network Orientation into our map training. This made the training go a little bit longer, but it was totally worth it! People in the space seemed happy and receptive to participating in an abbreviated network orientation. I felt like it was enriching for so many folks who are involved in their communities, but are new to NC3 and how we get down to get a taste of who we are before hitting the streets.
The only thing I wish we could have done that didn’t happen was to show the mappers this video, which outlines the mapping process, and explains why we map in less than 3 minutes.
Michael presented the nitty gritty on how to evaluate homes, and the vacancy indicators we look for. He also answered some technical questions Our other data team specialist Micah revamped our presentation a little bit, which was perfect.
Then we hit the streets!
We had an unusually large group of people (we usually map with less than 20 people), and fairly small sections… so there was a certain level of chaos to the process. Folks who live in Smoketown were pretty receptive to the idea of mapping, however they were a little disillusioned to the idea of more meetings to talk about their neighborhood.
This is particularly relevant, considering that the Hope VI program has eliminated the Sheppard Square community. Because of this, there is now a hole in what was one of the most densely populated areas in the Smoketown Neighborhood. There have been plenty of meetings about that!
But, in the interactions I had with people, we talked about local resources like Youth Build. Youth Build is an AWESOME program designed to get youth hooked up with a GED, trade skills and a deeper connection with their community.
Anyways, the teams figured their way through the process! They examined and evaluated the houses and business, and most returned with smiles on their faces. A few even said they’d like to go out and do the process again.
If you’re interested in attending the Community Meeting about the section one map, please join us on September 25th at PCC, which is located at 701 S. Hancock street in Louisville.
If you’re interested in learning how you can participate in the mapping process, or attend a Property Research training, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call NC3 at 502-583-2436
all photos by Kerry Spence