The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), launched an early action project as part of the Great Neighborhoods Community Planning initiative last Saturday Nov. 12. Its overall purpose is to engage residents, business owners, institutions and other stakeholders to improve the quality of life in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
This initiative, according to Irene Lopez, Great Neighborhoods Project director at the BYNC, will address the community in a comprehensive manner, including housing, industrial and commercial development, community facilities, education, youth and recreation.
To mark the beginning of a sequence of community projects, Saturday’s event invited residents to pick up paint and brushes and move along neighborhood alleys to cover up graffiti painted on garages.
Moving forward, the Great Neighborhoods Community Planning initiative will also take a comprehensive approach to community development – in addition to physical improvements, including good schools, parks, health and child care, safety, social services and opportunities for economic advancement.
Promoting collaboration between neighborhood organizations is a priority through the initiative.
“We’ve been trying so hard for a long time to unite the community but we really haven’t achieved a satisfactory outcome,” said Lopez. “This time with the Quality of Life plan and through LISC, we’re trying to get everyone to the table to work for the same goal, which is making the neighborhood a better place.”