Celebrating Team-Up to Clean-Up: Taking it another notch!

From Coordinator Of Community Initiatives, T.K. Singleton:

“Why even bother? These punks are going to come back here and tag up on these walls the minute you guys leave!” -A business owner on Timpson Place

How would you respond to that statement? Many of us here at Bronx Community Solutions are trying to solve that question. Ever since we started coordinating graffiti clean-ups around the Bronx, that has been our struggle- more like a war! As complaints and arrests for graffiti are on the rise in the Bronx, Bronx Community Solutions has been working steadily to solve the issue of these eye-soars (working in 10 out of the 12 precincts in the Bronx).

When thinking about participating for the second year in the Bronx Borough Presidents Team-up to Clean-up event, we wanted to create a community service project that would be sustained and change the overall look of a community. With close collaboration from NYPD commanding officers, we developed Community Impact. Community Impact was created to support and develop local infrastructures that would otherwise have a challenging time to achieve and sustain long-term change in a small concentrated area that is plagued with graffiti, trash and other eyesores. It’s our second generation of community service and community engagement projects geared towards addressing particular issues that effect the overall look of a community. So far, we’ve got four Community Impact projects planned, in Community Boards 2, 6,8 and 9, and we kicked off in Community Board 2 for Team-up to clean-up.

This collaboration includes the NYPD local precinct, tenant associations, business owners, the Department of Sanitation, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and local community-based organizations. With the 41st Precinct’s Community Impact area we have the Precinct Councils president’s full assistance and support.

Weeks leading to the event, Rosa B.(41st Precinct Council President) and Officer Haddock( Community Affairs Officer for 41st Precinct) scheduled meetings with multiple tenants associations, building management companies like South Bronx Community Management and Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Moises, our Coordinator of Community Service, and myself went to many informal meetings with residents, building superintendents, and business owners, and we received mix emotions about the concept of Community Impact. But we keep on pressing!

Team-Up to Clean-Up incorporated Law Enforcement Explorers from the 41st precinct, and Bronx Community Solutions clients completing their community service requirement. We arrived at the site on cold, misty Saturday morning. The day was full painting and pizza. As the day went on, one business owner came out and gave us a graffiti waiver so that we could clean his building. “You guys are coming back right?”

For more information on this project, contact T.K. Singleton, Coordinator of Community Initiatives: E-Mail