The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), on behalf of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), today announced the eight neighborhoods that will receive training and technical assistance through the groundbreaking Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP). These competitively selected neighborhoods are located in Flint, Mich.; Fresno, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Milwaukee.
BNCP, a core component of NRI, is designed to help distressed neighborhoods transform themselves into neighborhoods of opportunity by building capacity around critical elements such as public safety, education, housing, human services and health. Funded through an interagency agreement among the Departments of Justice, Education, and Housing and Urban Development, BNCP will provide intensive training and technical assistance to faith based, nonprofit and community organizations over a period of at least 20 months to help these neighborhoods design and begin pursuing results-driven, sustainable revitalization plans.
“As we’ve seen in too many communities across the country, neighborhoods that have experienced persistent distress often lack the tools to overcome the challenges to revitalization,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “ The Building Neighborhood Capacity Program helps these neighborhoods build the infrastructure and tap into the resources necessary to establish and sustain successful renewal efforts.”
The selected neighborhoods within the four chosen cities are Flint’s Ward 1 and Ward 3 neighborhoods, Memphis’s Binghampton and Frayser neighborhoods, Milwaukee’s Amani and Metcalfe Park neighborhoods, and Fresno’s El Dorado and Southwest neighborhoods. These communities demonstrated a high need as well as the drive, citizen engagement, and commitment to success necessary to develop capacity around the essential elements of healthy neighborhoods.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy, a nonprofit public policy, research and technical assistance organization with nearly 30 years of experience, was competitively selected to provide training and technical assistance to these neighborhoods and to establish and manage an on-line resource center for anyone interested in sustainable revitalization.
“Poverty should never be destiny,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Through programs like BNCP that offer targeted support to distressed communities for safety, health services, and particularly greater access to a high-quality education, more children and families will have the tools necessary to be successful.”
“HUD is proud to stand with our partners at Justice and Education to provide these cities the tools they need to revitalize neighborhoods,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Through collaborations like this one, we are better aligning federal resources to execute place-based strategies to transform distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods into places that offer hope and opportunity to current families and future generations.”
“The Building Neighborhood Capacity Program focuses on the nation’s neediest neighborhoods. BNCP blends the latest research on effective placed-based policing strategies, efforts on building community efficiency and lessons learned from BJA’s smart policing program into one innovative approach to community revitalization,” said BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell. “BJA is proud to lead the Department of Justice’s effort, in collaboration with our federal partners, on this innovative cross-funded program.”
More information about the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative is available at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/nri_description.pdf .
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov .