Access to food, safe streets and quality schools help make up a thriving neighborhood. When these resources come together, neighborhoods start to flourish. Businesses begin to set up shop. Families go out into the community more. Festivals and community events are scheduled, children begin to thrive, and everyone feels connected to the neighborhood in which they live.
And this connection is critical. Our neighborhoods shape us. But, if the neighborhood isn’t flourishing due to high crime rates, low access to foods or access to quality education, the neighborhood can slump into a cycle of poverty. And a neighborhood stuck in a cycle of poverty can rarely see hope.
Changing the core of a neighborhood doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedicated stakeholders and resources to bring the right groups together to rebuild a section of town. This is a challenge Growing Together took on in 2011 when the group formed out of a partnership with CAP Tulsa.
Growing Together had the goal of making the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood excel. They began partnering with groups such as Reading Partners and City Year to set up shop in Tulsa, go into local schools and provide tutoring and mentorship opportunities for the students. But not all needs can be met within the school.
The organization expanded to working with housing and development organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Capital Homes to bring quality homes to the area. Providing safe housing options also brings more people to the neighborhood, offering a mix of incomes and backgrounds. Mixed-income
housing provides more opportunities for local businesses to thrive.
When different groups come together to help build a neighborhood, you see what Kendall-Whittier is today: a neighborhood of opportunity with quality, affordable housing, a booming main street, local restaurants, community meetings such as Coffee with Parents, and a thriving education pipeline offering academic success and development from cradle to college.
Although a lot of work has already been done, there are still more opportunities for the neighborhood to grow to ensure that it is truly a neighborhood where children thrive. For more information about the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and how Growing Together
helped revitalize this area, click here.