Communicating as a Leader

Creating a Strong Sense of Community Through Fort Worth’s Neighborhood Initiatives

Shawn Kohan asked:

Fort Worth is one of those cities that people remember long after visiting. And it is certainly a city that inspires talk of relocation.

Perhaps it is because of its gorgeous surroundings, including its bustling, vibrant downtown area and diverse neighborhoods. Or perhaps it is because of its strong economy, its outstanding business environment and the affordable, high-quality Fort Worth real estate market. Or maybe it is because the feeling of community solidarity is felt the moment you walk down the street, catch a bite to eat at the local diner, or partake in a community fair or parade .

One thing’s for sure: the citizens and community leaders of Fort Worth are quick to recognize the unique fabric of their neighborhoods and are therefore actively involved in maintaining and improving their city on every level.

From planting trees, to neighborhood clean-ups, to funding neighborhood improvements, neighborhood associations abound throughout Fort Worth. And the ever-increasing value of the Fort Worth real estate market is a fine example of what can happen when the community gets involved.

Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations

The Forth Worth League of Neighborhood Associations, which was founded in 1985 by 12 neighborhood groups (it currently has 80 independent neighborhood groups), is an umbrella organization which acts on the behalf of its members to educate and protect Fort Worth’s neighborhoods.

The Forth Worth League of Neighborhood Associations provides training for new and established neighborhoods and encourages the citizens of Fort Worth to get involved in decision-making processes which affect their neighborhoods. The goal of this organization is to provide a better quality of life and to provide a loud, unified voice at city hall.

Model Blocks Program (MB)

The Model Blocks Program (MB), which was funded with a federal Commercial Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership funds, is a program which is designed to assist neighborhoods in achieving housing revitalization. The goal of this revitalization program, which is the first of its kind in Fort Worth, is to “build strong neighborhoods, a safe community, and a sound economy.”

Some of the housing revitalization projects for communities in Fort Worth include housing rehabilitation, minor home repairs and street and infrastructure improvements.

MB enables residents to participate and work together, along with city staff, to develop and implement a neighborhood plan and its related projects using designated federal funds.

Neighborhood and Community Outreach Office

The Neighborhood and Community Outreach Office, which was developed in 1997, is a division of the Community Relations Department and consists of a network of neighborhoods. It mirrors the city’s goal of building strong neighborhoods, which fosters a healthy economy and a strong Fort Worth real estate market.

The Neighborhood and Community Outreach Office encourages and assists neighborhoods (called model blocks) with the organization of neighborhood associations, supports existing neighborhood associations, facilitates communication between residents and the city department and develops educational programs for neighborhood associations.

Since the inception of this program, 18 model blocks have been selected. The program is based on the principles of comprehensive planning and implementation, resident empowerment, public-private partnership and leveraging resources.

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