A little over a year ago Buffalo Rising featured an article on some of the transformations that had taken place on 19th Street on the city’s West Side. Over the years, the street had become a haven for drugs and gang activity, and many said that it could not be cleaned up. Instead of figuring out a solution, more people moved out of the neighborhood and the battle appeared to be lost by the community.
Then organizations such as Homefront (The Homeownership Center), with the help of grassroots community activists, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) and The City, began to reclaim this street (and others) by making purchases and then renovations to derelict houses. The plan was to get the houses filled with homeowners who would take care of the properties and ultimately the neighborhood.
This morning I saw that PUSH (a pioneering organization that paved the way for others) was promoting a 19th Street block party, which to me is an incredible sign that the neighborhood is indeed continuing to rebound, and is ready to show off its victories. The party is being organized by one of the street’s newest Homefront home owners, Lori Willoughby.
“They say that when you plant seeds that one day they begin to grow. Lori Willoughby has been a welcome addition to 19th St. She has organized this street’s first ever block party. She’s inviting the community to come on out!”
And this from Michael Hargrave’s 2012 article: (see BRO article)