Before his passing in 2012, our Brownsville Partnership’s (BP) Founding Director, Greg “Jocko” Jackson, would constantly remind Brownsville residents that hope is inside. The Brownsville Partnership has worked to carry on Greg’s legacy by empowering residents to use that hope to tackle their own struggles and those facing their neighbors.
Since 2008, the BP has focused its work primarily on six NYCHA developments. But this spring, the BP expanded its work through the Brownsville Neighborhood Empowerment Network. The Network will create a peer-to-peer network of Brownsville residents who have expertise in solving the problems faced by many neighbors, supported by the BP team and partners.
Three Brownsville residents are the Resource Specialists at the center of the network of problem solvers. They are finding neighbors who have solved problems, such as stopping an eviction, or locating a good job training, school program or job, and are willing to assist neighbors facing those same problems in solving them.
“Over the years, we have come to know that Brownsville residents are not only willing to support each other in crises, challenges and problem solving, but they are often the best people to be doing so,” said Bryan Woll, the Program Coordinator of the Brownsville Neighborhood Empowerment Network.
More support for neighborhood problems solvers is on its way. This summer, Community Solutions aims to transform a vacant commercial building on Rockaway Avenue in Brownsville into a community hub, which would serve as a creative and problem-solving space for the neighborhood, and offer support to residents working to improve their community and secure new opportunities.
The building would be named the Greg Jackson Center for Brownsville, after the BP’s late founding director, and would include financial empowerment and entrepreneurship activities, wellness resources, a community data center, a cafe, a multi-purpose space for arts and other community events, and a co-located workspace for organizations collaborating with the BP.
The building would open in November 2014.
The BP invites residents to a Town Hall on May 13th at 6:30 pm to discuss the community hub and the BP’s future office space. Join us at 444 Thomas Boyland Street to learn more about what the community hub would offer Brownsville.