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West Center City residents invited to participate in Community Impact Measurement (CIM) survey

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Every three years, NeighborWorks America collaborates with their community partners with local communities to conduct the Community Impact Measurement (CIM) Survey. The survey collects data to track environmental changes over time, gauge resident sentiments toward their community, assess safety measures, evaluate quality of life, measure social cohesion, and analyze community engagement. In addition, the CIM survey serves as a strategic tool to shape comprehensive community development goals for the future.

This year, in collaboration with G.A.P. Youth Mentoring Initiative Inc., Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. set out to engage with residents of Wilmington’s West Center City community. Our aim was to listen to our residents’ concerns and ideas, evaluate their quality of life, and genuinely understand their sentiments about their neighborhood. Our goal was to gather precise, insightful information about the community, paving the way for increased engagement and future revitalization efforts benefiting both current and future residents.

A total of 130 building observations were conducted to assess overall structural conditions and immediate needs. These buildings, a mix of historical and newly constructed structures, included commercial buildings, apartments, single-family homes, townhomes, and duplexes. The observations revealed evident signs of major and minor repairs required, such as roof repairs, structural issues, window and gutter replacements, and steps and hand-railings in need of immediate attention.

One hundred and sixteen block observations were also conducted to assess overall maintenance of the spaces. These observations brought to light vacant lots and abandoned buildings, highlighting the stark contrast between blocks that exemplified a sense of ownership and responsibility and those that did not. These disparities within the community underscore the challenges that residents collectively face.

G.A.P. Youth Mentoring Initiative Inc. collected a total of 202 CIM surveys, providing invaluable insights. The most compelling narratives emerged from the residents themselves—seniors enjoying bingo nights, families strolling with their children, card players in the park, and neighborhood small business owners.

Through the stories of residents who lived through the Civil Rights movement and experienced segregation, we walked through history. We discovered structures that served as pathways for the Underground Railroad. Residents should be proud of the rich history preserved right here in West Center City.

While many urban communities grapple with challenges like violence, drugs, and homelessness, these do not define the character of a community. Community isn't just where we live; it's the people who make it. The residents of West Center City are a tight-knit family that contributes immeasurable greatness to society and neighboring areas. Their unity and commitment uphold the dignity of their community.

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