Wilmington City Council Member Shabazz Celebrates with the Community as a New Eastside Collaborative is Created

Posted on  11/12/2013 1:00 pm

Ten organizations came together on Pine Street in Eastside Wilmington today to sign an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) creating an Eastside Collaborative to restore prosperity to an area of the community bounded by 4th Street to 11th Street and Church Street to Walnut Street.

Wilmington City Council Member Hanifa Shabazz called the occasion “historic” saying she was extremely pleased to witness such an abundance of cooperation, creativity and excitement among citizens about what is ahead for this area.

Today’s event, held at Central Baptist Church on Pine Street, marks the beginning of the implementation of the Eastside Blueprint Strategic Plan for community revitalization and housing stabilization. The plan was developed over the past four years with the help of the University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research and Service and included input from scores of citizens and community agencies.

Eastside Blueprint is a planning team that was started in 2009 under the Federal Home Loan Banks Blueprint Community Program. The mission of the Blueprint Program is to unite citizens, public and private stakeholders, and community activists to revitalize communities by increasing home ownership, human services, public safety, entrepreneurship, and education to create a better place to live, learn, worship and work.

The MOU signing solidifies an on-going collective community goal of building, re-modeling or refurbishing of 125 homes as part of a five-phased plan for a portion of the community bounded by 7th and 10th Streets and Church and Pine Streets.

In addition, the MOU signatories, coming together under the banner of “Eastside Rising,” are pledging to develop programs to create jobs, reduce unemployment, improve public safety and encourage entrepreneurial creativity and success.

Reverend Terrance Keeling of Central Baptist Church and Central Baptist Community Development Corporation (CDC) said the MOU marks the first step toward integrating four strategic goals of community empowerment, housing stabilization, improved community health and economic empowerment. Keeling said achievement of these goals will ultimately lead to a healthier and more stable mixed-income community on Wilmington’s Eastside.

Central Baptist CDC, which serves as the implementation partner of the Eastside Blueprint Plan, is a 501(c)(3) Community Development Corporation founded in 2010 and located in the heart of Eastside. Its mission is to provide a structure for community interaction that encourages people to engage in the process of change, resulting in the physical, social and spiritual and physiological transformation of their community.

The organizations signing the MOU today include:

  • Eastside Blueprint Planning Team
  • Central Baptist Community Development Corporation
  • Habitat for Humanity New Castle County
  • Inter-Neighborhood Foundation
  • Wilmington Housing Partnership
  • Woodlawn Trustees Inc.
  • American Baptist Churches PA/DEL
  • Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union
  • Delaware Community Reinvestment Act Council Inc.
  • University of Delaware Center for Community Research and Service