2019 Celebration of Rochester Neighbors

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Award Winners Announced

NeighborWorks® Rochester and the City of Rochester is thrilled to announce the winners of its Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awards. The awards will be distributed on Monday, June 3rd from 5:00PM to 7:30PM at the City of Rochester Public Market. Like a city-wide block party, the event will feature live music, food and a chance to have fun with neighbors from throughout the city.

Northwest Quadrant Community Champion: Barb Ann Kupiec is a long-time resident of the Maplewood Neighborhood who has dedicated her retirement years to improving the neighborhood. As a Master Gardener, Barb Ann generously shares her expertise by leading a team of volunteers as Chair of the Maplewood Gardening team. Together they maintain public garden areas, planters and trees along Dewey Avenue. Additionally, Barb serves on the Maplewood Neighborhood Assoc. Board of Directors as Board Secretary. She has served on both the Maplewood Public Safety Committee and the Zoning Committee. Barb Ann is also involved with taking care of feral cats in the neighborhood. According to her nominator, Enrica Fleming, “Barb Ann invests most of her time, energy and talent to help improve the physical appearance of the neighborhood, helping to stabilize it and attract new property owners, when she could have chosen a leisurely retirement. She is truly a wonderful example of what each of us can do for our community.” Barb Ann also volunteers her time as a Master Gardener throughout the county, cultivating plantings and maintaining gardens at many county parks.

Southwest Quadrant Community Champion :  John DeMott is described as very serious about the betterment of his community, and also very friendly and kindhearted. Some of his community involvement includes assisting with the weekly farmer’s market in the summer, and engaging residents, businesses and students to beautify the community with flowers and plantings along the street. He was also influential in the birth of the Brooks Landing development. As a musician, John often donates his time to provide music and entertainment to the community, including organizing an event called Beats @Brooks to provide music for residents of the Southwest neighborhoods. John is a firm believer in supporting local businesses, with a true desire to see them succeed. John was nominated by John Demps along with a long list of others, who stated, “John is proactive in getting things done in the neighborhood, is very dependable, easy to work with and passionate about the work he is doing. He has a strong belief in the character of his neighbors and neighborhood.”

 Northeast Quadrant Community Champion: Vincent Russello, nominated by Carlos Torres of the Northeast Neighborhood Service Center, is the founder and president of the Vineyards Neighborhood Association. This enterprising resident is a true leader in his neighborhood, working tirelessly to resolve many community issues and working with the city to relay concerns. He is very creative in collaborating and working with other groups to improve the community. He has reached out to agencies to bring them into the neighborhood to assist those in need and regularly invites new ideas and input on projects. He’s a driver in obtaining funding for community improvement projects and is great at bringing people together for support, safety and promotion of the neighborhood. His nominator said of Vince, ”he’s consistent in reaching his goals, is a good communicator and never gives up on resolving community issues.”

Southeast Quadrant Community Champion: Joe DiFiore’s involvement and accomplishments are almost too many to list! This dedicated volunteer gives hours of his own time for the people and families of Beechwood and the City of Rochester. Some of the boards and organizations he serves include the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition, Peace Village Homeless Encampment, Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, and Little Flower Community. Joe is skilled at organizing groups to get projects done. He was instrumental in getting Play Streets established, which resulted in a policy developed for Healthi Kids Coalition and the City of Rochester Dept. of Recreation for more neighborhoods to take on Play Streets – where 2 weeks of the summer time is set aside to close the streets for children of the neighborhood to play. Another project he championed was to create a StoryWalk at #33 School, Ryan Center and Sully Library.

Joe’s other passion is affordable housing, as a Board member of City Roots Community Land Trust, he works to establish and promote permanently affordable, quality housing in our city.  His vision includes:

  • Vacant properties turned over to the Trust for community-led development, which will turn them into community-held assets
  • Infrastructure and playful design elements that encourage people to walk and bike
  • Utilizing vacant lots for pop-up events, community gardens and play spaces

His nominator, Nancy Johns Price, says of him, “Joe does so much for so many. He is truly a champion who understands hard work and commitment to make a community strong. He sees a need and gets people organized and works on solutions.”

Community Leader Award: The Community Leader Award recognizes volunteer leaders who spark change by engaging others in improving their community. Devon Reynolds, Sr. and Jovan Bradley, co-owners of the Brothers and Sisters Unisex Salon embody this in their everyday lives. According to nominator Kim Hare, the two “are father figures, counselors, advocates, role models, problem solvers, community change makers, and more.” The have addressed issues in their neighborhood, including the challenges that families face from lack of food, kids hanging on street corners at all hours, lack of job opportunities, and feelings of despair and hopelessness. Projects they have organized include:

  • Starting a school supply give away to assist families
  • Providing free haircuts in the schools during the school year
  • Starting a food pantry – Sweet Ida’s Food Pantry – soliciting donations that include food and clothing.
  • Holding events during Black History Month and providing free books to children
  • Providing Thanksgiving dinners to those in need – more than 100 dinners in 2018!
  • Organize an annual Father’s Day Celebration
  • Collaborating with Trillium Health and Common Ground to host an event for HIV/STD testing and education, blood pressure screening and more
  • Hosting Community Roundtables to provide a venue for the community to speak, express their thoughts and concerns

“Devon and Jovan are unique and crucial assets to the Maplewood Community. They see an issue…and roll up their sleeves and get to work.”

 

Bank of America Supports Economic Opportunities Via NeighborWorks® Rochester

By collaborating resources and solution-driven ideas, Bank of America and NeighborWorks® Rochester are making it easier for low-income families to gain financial stability. A recent grant of Homeownership Class NeighborWorks Rochester$10,000 from Bank of America will support financial coaching and homeownership education for Rochester area residents provided by the non-profit organization.

These funds will help provide tools and resources that allow potential homebuyers to become mortgage-ready through NeighborWorks Rochester’s homeownership education and coaching. Participants are provided with financial coaching, education in mortgage products, and guidance on available financial assistance and first-time homebuyer grants. As a member of the NeighborWorks America network, the organization’s approach is a key component of strengthening Rochester area neighborhoods.

“We provide tools for individuals who may be seeking to increase their economic mobility through homeownership to prepare themselves for success.” stated Joanne Panarisi-Bottone, NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Executive Director. “We are pleased to be able to partner with Bank of America to advance opportunities for those in our community who may not otherwise have this type of support.”

New Study Shows People Still Not Aware of Resources Available to Them For Homeownership

A decade after the housing market collapsed, a new survey reveals that many people are unaware of resources and counseling that can improve their prospects of owning their own home. Housing counseling offered by NeighborWorks Rochester helps close to 150 residents annually achieve their goal of buying a home, and could do so for many others who have the same dream.
Joanne Panarisi-Bottone, Executive Director of NeighborWorks Rochester states, “Our goal is to ensure that first-time homebuyers make informed decisions based on their personal finances, goals and dreams. Our coach approach supports sustainable homeownership for both the individuals and the community by working with individuals to create a clear path, remove obstacles, and avoid the many pitfalls that a first-time buyer may encounter, such as predatory lending.” Neighborworks Rochester is an affiliate of NeighborWorks Community Partners, a member of the NeighborWorks America national network.
The sixth annual NeighborWorks America at Home  survey found that people with the most debt –millennials and women—are less likely to be homeowners, and large numbers would like to be, but don’t know where to turn for help in achieving their dream.

Among the findings:

  • Women: 29 percent of women have student loan debt, compared to 23 percent of men. Fifty percent of women worry about this type of debt all or most of the time.
  • People of color: 48 percent of people of color are burdened with student loan debt, compared to 22 percent of white women and 15 percent of white men.
  • Millennials: 56 percent of millennials worry about student loan debt some or most of the time.
  • Overall awareness of help available: 46 percent of all adults are unfamiliar with nonprofits that offer debt counseling for free or at a low cost.

 “It’s important for people to have the proper tools and resources so they are informed consumers from the moment they consider owning a home,” says Karen Hoskins, acting vice president of homeownership programs and lending at NeighborWorks America. “A housing counselor can guide them through what often seems a daunting, confusing process. Consumers also will benefit by thinking about housing counselors as helpful sources of information about services such as down-payment assistance.”

For more information about NeighborWorks Rochester’s homebuyer resources, visit our Homeownership Page. For more information about the America at Home survey, click on this link.

2018 Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awardees

NeighborWorks® Rochester and the City of Rochester are pleased to announce the winners of its 2018 Celebration of Rochester Neighbors Awards. At a news conference on May 31st, Executive Director, Joanne Panarisi-Bottone and City of Rochester Mayor, Lovely Warren announced this year’s awardees at the City of Rochester Public Market.

The awards will be distributed on Monday, June 4thfrom 5:00PM to 7:30PM at the City of Rochester Public Market. Like a city-wide block party, the event will feature music, food and a chance to have fun with neighbors from throughout the city. It is FREE and open to all. The awardees are:

Southwest Quadrant Community Champion : Dorothy Hall, is the Southwest Quadrant Community Champion, embodying the award’s criteria as someone who exemplifies a vision for a better, brighter Rochester, starting with their own neighborhood. Mrs. Hall’s love and commitment to her community led her to become one of the original organizers of the PLEX (Pymouth / Exchange) Neighborhood Association. She often represents her neighborhood at city and local meetings and diligently works with families in need, organizing events such as clothing give-aways. Improving relations within her diverse community is a focus for her, as well. She has been a long-time member of the Common Council and Quad team, as well as the Southwest Riverfront Committee. Recently, she raised funds for School #9 students to travel to Washington, DC to perform at the offices of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Ms. Hall was nominated by Donna Hodgins of the PLEX Neighborhood Association, who feels that the awardee exemplifies the PLEX Neighborhood’s motto: Together, we can make a difference.

Northeast Quadrant Community Champion: The Northeast Community Champion is Martin Pedraza, a long-time resident and member of the Marketview Heights Neighborhood Association. According to Rochester Police Department’s Officer Erique Gomez, one of two who nominated him, “Martin has been the un-praised backbone of the organization and the go-to-guy for the neighborhood, and can be seen everywhere in that neighborhood doing landscape work on vacant lots and for property owners who have asked for help in their gardens and privately owned yards.” Martin is a graduate of the Citizen’s Police Academy and often attends the Clinton Section PCIC meetings and offers to play a pro-active role in helping law enforcement whenever he is able. As a proud Vietnam Veteran, he shows no fear in working, usually by himself, in violent, high-crime areas in the northeast part of the Rochester. He consistently displays leadership by taking a pro-active approach in cleaning up and maintaining the area around the Public Market, displaying a sense of pride in his neighborhood. Officer Gomez stated, “without people like him, our jobs would be more difficult on a daily basis and the community of Marketview Heights would be undervalued not only economically, but with a lesser quality of life.” Co-nominator Lt. Cheryl Fridley is impressed with the quality and volume of Martin’s volunteer work, sharing that not only does he maintain gardens in his neighborhood, but also plants and maintains flowers at the Rochester Public Market, creating a positive image of our city for visitors from around the country. He also has helped with a community garden located at the NSC office that has produce a literal ton of food, donated to the residents of the northeast. “Martin is one of the hardest working community members I have encountered in my 27 years with the Rochester Police Department,” Lt. Fridley stated in her nomination of Martin.

Northwest Quadrant Community Champion: Kim Hare, who lives in the Maplewood Neighborhood, is our Northwest Community Champion. Kim is a long-time resident and a member of the Maplewood Neighborhood Association. Currently she heads the Maplewood Code Committee. This committee works to make sure that the Maplewood area continues to have a high quality of life standard. Ms. Hare and her committee members volunteer to go out into their community and monitor vacant properties, blighted properties and report their findings to the committee and then follows up with the City of Rochester, the State of New York and any other entities that would be responsible for maintaining a high standard of living. Ms. Hare was nominated by the Northwest Neighborhood Service Center, where they recognize how hard Kim works to make sure that Maplewood remains a viable family oriented community in the City of Rochester.

Southeast Quadrant Community Champion: Emily and Guy Zeh were nominated as the Southeast Quadrant Community Champions because they exemplify what it means to be committed and supportive neighbors, friends and community members. As the parents of 3 young children, they have dedicated their lives to the betterment of their community. Emily is currently President of the PTO at Frank Fowler Dow School #52 where she selflessly devotes her time to organizing meetings, events, parents’ fundraising efforts and more. Emily celebrates the commitment of teachers and other parents – acknowledging their work, lending an ear and bringing a smile to the day. The same energy and selfless outreach to care for others extends throughout their neighborhood – always the first to ask “how can I help.” Whether it’s someone who needs their car dug out of the snow, or a meal dropped off dinner during a family illness, Emily and Guy are always there to lend support. Guy is the volunteer Commissioner and a coach of the Eastside Little League and the couple spends countless hours preparing fields, organizing registration and schedules, working the concession stands and supporting all the other volunteers and participants. Nominated by several of their neighbors, here’s what they had to say:

“Emily and Guy are compassionate, empathetic and loyal. From helping us move furniture on a dark, rainy night to inviting us over for safe meals with our food allergic son, they have made helping others a way of life.” – Kate and Zach Olsen

“We love our neighborhood in North Winton Village…You can always count on Emily and Guy. They are the first people you think of when you need assistance, be it helping out with your kids of a helping hand in the community.” – Dave and Sandy Walsh

Community Leader Award: The Community Leader Award recognizes volunteer leaders who spark change by engaging others in improving their community. Chris Jones, who owns Historic House Parts, and Carrie Laughton, owner of Lux Lounge, have “given time, energy and resources to get the Southwedge to be one of the most vibrant neighborhoods and commercial corridors in the City.” The organization which they co-chair, the Business Association of the SouthWedge Area, has one of the largest and most active memberships in the City, and includes their own magazine, The SouthWedge Quarterly. They have kept the vision of a vibrant neighborhood alive and have given untold hours of volunteer time to make sure this vision continues to be a reality. Some examples of the work they have done in the area includes:

  • Creating a non-profit organization to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of Nathaniel Square Park, which is both an uplifting art installation, as well as a park.
  • Raising funds for the commission and installation of artwork and decorative waste containers along South Avenue
  • Development of events to generate traffic and encourage shoppers and visitors to the area

The two were nominated by the Southeast Neighborhood Service Center because they have witnessed what an “extraordinary team and voice of positivity” they are. Chris and Carrie are involved in development in the area, creating awareness and opportunity for residents and merchants to be engaged and have a voice with the planning of SouthWedge area development. Chris also sits on the Rochester Police Departments Chief’s Police Citizen Interaction Committee to support public safety in the area.

They are a team that holds the City responsible for taking action on properties that are not properly cared for or that create unsafe circumstances. Chris and Carrie embody this award’s criteria of investing energies and talents to bring about specific change that positively impacts their community.

 

Citizens Bank helps Support The American Dream of Homeownership Via NeighborWorks® Rochester Grant

Rochester area residents wanting to fulfill the American Dream of homeownership will be supported by a recent grant from Citizens Bank to NeighborWorks Rochester. The $5,000 grant will help provide tools and resources that allow homebuyers to become mortgage-ready through NeighborWorks Rochester’s homeownership education and counseling. Participants are provided with financial coaching, education in mortgage products, and guidance on available financial assistance and first-time homebuyer grants.

“Our goal is to prepare future homeowners for success – a key component of strengthening the Rochester area’s neighborhoods.” stated Joanne Panarisi-Bottone, NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Executive Director. “We provide the tools homebuyers need to prepare themselves and, as a member of the NeighborWorks America network, our approach is proven.”

NeighborWorks® Rochester is a HUD Housing Counseling Agency serving Rochester and the surrounding area.  The non-profit organization also creates sustainable communities by providing lead paint inspections, home improvement loans and energy services programs that improve energy efficiency, real estate values and resident wellness.

NeighborWorks® Rochester is an affiliate of NeighborWorks® America, and a member of NeighborWorks Community Partners – a consolidation with NeighborWorks organizations in Buffalo and Niagara, formed to increase the number of prospective homebuyers that can be served throughout the Greater Rochester Area, and throughout Western NY.

Do you know a Good Neighbor? Nominations open for Celebration of Rochester Neighbors

NeighborWorks® Rochester is organizing its 3rd Annual Celebration of Rochester Neighbors, to be held in June of 2018. The free event will be held at the iconic City of Rochester Public Market, celebrates the great people that make our neighborhoods strong. Volunteers who are making a difference in each of the city’s four quadrants at neighborhood level, as well as one leader in the overall Rochester community will be recognized. City of Rochester residents who exemplify a vision for a better Rochester, who work to better their neighborhood or spark change by engagning others will be considered. Full nomination details are available on the webpage:  https://nwrochester.org/Celebration-of-rochester-neighbors/.  Anyone can nominate a City of Rochester neighbor for consideration! Fill out a nomination form today!

The event will recognize four Community Champions – individuals from each of the four quadrants of the city for their contributions to their community. The Community Leadership Award award, which recognizes volunteer leaders who work to improve the entire community of Rochester.

Celebration of Rochester Neighbors is much like a block party for the entire city. The event will also kick off NeighborWorks® Week in Rochester and will feature live music, food, and children’s activities. Admission to the event is free. NeighborWorks® Rochester, a non-profit organization, builds strong neighborhoods by educating and counseling new homeowners, providing loan services and energy-savings programs to homeowners and targeted neighborhood revitalization through the Healthy Blocks Neighborhood Initiative. Volunteers who wish to help with the event, or local business interested in sponrorship can contact Kelly Hallenbeck, Resource Development Manager at 327-4170, or khallenbeck@nwrochester.org.

Is Your New Year’s Resolution To Take Control of Debt?

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Many people make resolutions for the New Year such as eating healthy, losing weight, increasing savings, getting out of debt, quitting smoking, etc. Was yours to make better decisions about money?

If your goal is to take better control of your finances, here are some quick tips for staying on track:

  1. Have a vision board with your written goals on it. As items are completed, check them off. A vision board is a constant reminder of your goals. People who have vision boards are reminded every day of their goals, and are most likely to complete them. It might be on your refrigerator, or on your bathroom mirror, on your car’s sun visor or at your desk at work.
  2. Know what your total debt is. Add up your total net income. Add up your current household expenses. Is there money left over after all the bills are paid? If not, then there are two options: increase income or current expenses need to be reduced.
  3. Are any of your current expenses “Want” instead of a “Need”? Is cable TV an absolute must-have for you or your family or can you cut it out of your budget? Can you make more meals at home rather than dining out? Do you purchase coffee on your way to work every day? Make a cup at home to reduce your daily expenses. It all adds up over time.
  4. Have you had an Energy Assessment done on your home? It could save you money on your monthly utility bills and cost you nothing. Visit NeighborWorks Energy Services to learn more.
  5. Look for ways to earn extra income. Working over-time, internet income opportunities, obtaining a better-paying job, selling some stored items in your attic or garage are all ways to increase your bottom line. Do you have items that are collecting dust that you do not use can be sold? Start preparing for a garage sale, virtual or real.
  6. Use any extra money you make or receive -a bonus, commissions, tax refunds – to start paying down your debt. Pay the bills with the smallest balances first and/ or pay bills with the highest interest rates first.
  7. Always make sure you pay your bills on time to avoid the extra late charges.

 

Once you start paying down your debt, your stress levels will reduce, and you will feel much better once you achieve your goal. And isn’t that what resolutions are all about?

If you feel you need more help to take charge of your debt, sign up for one of our Financial Fitness Classes by creating a Compass Account. Or give us a call at 585-325-4170.

Everyone Deserves a Home For the Holidays

You can help create opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by joining us in the belief that every family should have a safe and healthy home to create their own memories. Your support is a key factor in allowing us to continue building strong communities, one neighbor at a time. As the holiday season approaches, we are hoping that you will consider adding a gift to NeighborWorks Rochester to your holiday to-do list. Every dollar donated to Home For the Holidays supports our work in the Rochester community.

Here are a few ways in which your support will have impact:

Support future homeowners. By working hand in hand with citizens whose dream is to own their first home, we help to develop informed, long-term, sustainable homeowners. For many, it will be an opportunity to achieve financial stability through our education services, counseling, and affordable lending options. These educated and involved neighbors are much more likely to nurture and sustain a healthy neighborhood environment.

Identify and support neighborhood leaders. We work with residents and community stakeholders to improve neighborhoods through housing, community-building and place-making strategies. We identify emerging community leaders and provide them with training and support to affect positive change in their neighborhoods.

Promote energy equity. An important component to maintaining healthy, vibrant and green friendly neighborhoods is an investment in energy conservation. We work with homeowners to analyze their home from top to bottom, providing an honest assessment of how they may be able to live more comfortably and how to invest wisely in their home to save money and energy.

Improve housing and neighborhood conditions. As a Community Development Financial Institution, we provide guidance and resources for homeowners to make important repairs to their homes, with an emphasis on neighborhoods that need the most critical support. In addition, we are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct lead paint Risk Assessments and Clearance Reports to improve living conditions for families.

 Encourage collaborations. Collaborations blend resources and expertise, leading to improved collective impact. We work with a network of bank partners, and non-profit and for-profit organizations to maximize funding available to income-eligible homeowners. By working together, we help Rochester homeowners live in safer, healthier, and more efficient homes.

In 2017, NeighborWorks® Rochester is on track to directly impact more than 1,000 families with our services. In 2018, we hope to exceed this achievement, but we cannot do this without you. The Annual Home for the Holidays campaign is your chance to support NeighborWorks® Rochester’s mission of building great communities.

Your gift won’t just help the people of our community, and the environment; you will also be making a direct impact on your local economy, stabilizing neighborhoods, and, in turn, supporting local businesses.

Now, more than ever, your support is essential for NeighborWorks® Rochester. By investing in our work, you are making a difference in your community. Without your caring and generous gift, the dream of homeownership for many in our community may slip away. Through your generosity, homeowners in need can access resources necessary to maintain a healthy home for their family, ensuring a safe, warm environment for families to thrive and memories to be made.

Please consider making your gift now. Your investment will have a lasting impact on the community you care about most – yours.

10 Tips for your Holiday Budget

The Holiday season is meant for quality time with family, and friends creating wonderful memories. It’s also a time where we spend more money than usual – the average family spends about $700.00 more during Holiday season. The last thing you want to do is let money worries add stress to your holidays.   

To keep you on track and keep stress away, here are 10 Holiday Budgeting tips to make your holidays less stressful:

  1. Pay your regular bills on time to avoid the extra late charges. If you can, pay more than the minimum charges.
  2. Set up automatic bill pay thru your bank.
  3. Pay with Cash or Debit card. Leave the credit cards at home. You can even give each household member an envelope with their holiday spending cash – when it’s gone, it’s gone.
  4. Don’t add on more debt to your current debt load.
  5. Have a budget in place and stick to it. Be honest and realistic when planning your budget and include EVERYTHING including wrapping paper, greeting cards, even the cost of gas or the bus for your shopping. You can use any down time immediately after the holidays to set a plan in place for next year.
  6. Find creative ways to spend less money on gifts. Consider making your own gifts – sometimes a handmade gift can be more personal and memorable.
  7. Shop early, look for discount coupons, comparative shop. Sign up for email alerts from retailers that will let you know when items go on sale, and they may even give you special offers for signing up.
  8. Set a spending limit and a create a list for gift giving.
  9. If entertaining, use coupons for food purchases and/ or shop in bulk. Planning your purchases in advance will go a long way towards helping you save money.
  10. Look at the current services you have to see if you can reduce your current household expenses. Are any of the entertainment services (cable, internet, etc.) offering discounts for the new year? You may never know unless you ask.

Remember to take time for yourself to relax, read a good book, listen to music or whatever puts you in a your place of zen. The less stressed you are, the more you can enjoy this special time with family and friends.

PS: Did you know NeighborWorks Rochester offers classes on budgeting, fixing your credit and much more? We’re here to help.

 

Triangle Neighborhood Releases Unique Video Series

The Triangle neighborhood, bordered by Culver, Merchants, and East Main Street, is a unique and vibrant area nestled within larger North Winton Village. The area is known by residents, business owners, and visitors as “rich with Rochester essence and flavor”—architecturally charming yet affordable to first-time homebuyers, walkable and bikeable, and home to Rochester landmarks: the last cobblestone house, James Brown’s Place, and L&M Lanes. This past summer, with support from NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Healthy Blocks initiative and a Pride in Place grant from NeighborWorks® America, the Triangle created three professional-quality neighborhood showcase videos: Home & Community, Relax & Play, and Neighborhood Schools. The videos are the first of their kind to be made by any Rochester neighborhood.

The Home & Community video features both long-time and newer Triangle residents. Zirrus, a Garson Avenue resident, features “diversity, friendliness, and activity” as the three standout qualities of the Triangle. Melville Street dweller Mikey mentions how accepting the neighborhood is compared to other areas in the City, and Joyce from Garson Avenue points out the Triangle’s proximity to “everything we could possibly want”. Walkability and safety are also prominently featured. Check out the video here: www.thetriangleroc.org/community

Relax & Play features local Triangle businesses, both well-known and under-the-radar. James Brown of James Brown’s Place diner, John Savino of Johnny’s Irish Pub, and Gary Stubbings of L&M Lanes give interviews; other staples such as Nino’s Pizzeria, Merchants Grill, and the East Main Salvatore’s (the local chain’s oldest location) also make an appearance. The short film is a great reminder that not only is the Triangle a great place to live, but it is also a destination for visitors looking to eat, drink, and be entertained—from Rochester and beyond! Watch Relax & Play here: www.thetriangleroc.org/merchants

The film about Neighborhood Schools tackles a question often sidestepped in discussions of revitalization in the City of Rochester: is it possible for kids in the Rochester City School District to get a good, competitive education? RocCity Coalition Education Team member Kevin Kelley says yes! The solution is that “people need to be educated…about the quality of [the] options.” While the message remains options—private, public, and charter—the content of the video focuses on two schools proximate to Triangle neighborhood, Frank Fowler Dow School No. 52 and East High School. The film emphasizes the schools’ assets—such as School 52’s strong community and good test scores and East High’s career preparation tracks through the University of Rochester—while also highlighting benefits of the RCSD as a whole, such as scholarships available to the U of R and RIT. Look here: www.thetrianglroc.org/education

In the few months since their release, the videos have already gathered over 4,500 views and received acclaim from a wide variety of organizations, including Celebrate City Living, who are exploring how other neighborhoods can undertake similar projects. All three videos, plus a 30-second trailer, were filmed and edited by videographer Justin Freeman, a North Winton Village resident. Interviews were conducted by Monica Finger, who coordinates NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Healthy Blocks initiative. To learn more about the Triangle, please visit www.thetriangleroc.org or check out their Facebook page for regular updates: www.facebook.com/TriangleofNWV.