Jericho Road maintains a commitment to not only developing access to affordable housing but building neighborhoods to encourage healthy, local-level growth. We believe that true social justice can be achieved through economic freedom, a goal accomplished through the promotion of thriving communities and pathways towards affordable, sustainable housing. But active, thriving communities require the action of all its residents. Jericho Road has worked to support collaborations and establish lines of communication between neighborhood stakeholders, private businesses, and civic leaders. Informing and educating residents has transformative power. Empowering residents cultivates ownership, giving people a vested interest in the things that happen in their community. Past and current Jericho Road engagement projects include:
Jericho Road has assisted in the formation of resident-led groups advocating for their own interests. Neighborhood associations serve as a powerful force in shaping local policy and have the ability to address civic issues that directly impact lives. Jericho Road serves as both a member and a facilitator, providing both support and resources to encourage action.
It is paramount to the revitalization of any neighborhood to return the blighted property back into commerce. Jericho Road and neighborhood residents work through a series of actions to reduce blight in the community. These actions include composing a housing inventory, letter communication with blighted property owners, regularly reporting to the city and testifying on behalf of the community when necessary to instigate change.
Resource provision or programs that provide services to residents in need are a way to stabilize neighborhoods so that residents can participate in the change they desire in their communities. Creating a database of neighborhood resources and forming connections between Jericho Road and many of the service providers in the neighborhoods we serve greatly helps us to advocate for residents and connect current residents with resources. Jericho Road produces a Resource Guide that is distributed to residents every other year.
Healthy Living Programming
In an effort to provide access to healthy, affordable housing, Jericho Road also acknowledges the role of healthy living as a lifestyle. This means finding ways to bring fresh, farm-to-table produce and goods to the tables of our families, reducing the economic burden of food costs, improving the accessibility to nutritious foods and tackling the major health problems affiliated with a lack of access to healthy foods. Through collaborations, Jericho Road has developed and maintained a fruit orchard and community gardens, offering opportunities for fresh food to be grown and consumed locally. In addition, regular cooking programs are piloted in an effort to show affordable ways to access and prepare foods.
Bling Your Block Beautification Program
As part of Jericho Road’s commitment to all-encompassing community advocacy and post-purchase homeowner programming, Bling Your Block facilitates and mobilizes community members to tackle blight and make aesthetic improvements; improvements that serve to benefit all members of the community. Volunteers and homeowners alike assemble to participate in home beautification projects. Efforts like painting porches, landscaping properties, and installing art murals in common areas, small as they are, have had a significant impact on the neighborhoods Jericho Road serves. Home improvements serve as reinforcement to homeownership and as research by leading economics scholars suggests, homeownership improves childhood outcomes and emboldens neighborhood stability. From the University of Florida’s Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing, it has even been suggested that homeownership has lasting impacts on personal control and life direction. Post-purchase programming and community-led initiatives can inspire lasting change and Jericho Road is committed to serving as a catalyst for action.