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'Creating Healthier Niagara Falls' partners to host 'Neighborhood Vision Meeting' Dec. 3

by jmaloni
Wed, Nov 30th 2011 07:10 pm

A Niagara University-facilitated initiative aimed at improving the health of Niagara Falls residents received a significant boost in the form of a $10,805 grant from the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York. The funding will supplement a $300,000 grant that was awarded for the project by The John R. Oishei Foundation in spring 2011.

"Creating a Healthier Niagara Falls: A Neighborhood Empowerment Approach" is a joint project of the City of Niagara Falls, Niagara University (via ReNU Niagara), the P2 Collaborative of Western New York and more than 30 community and faith-based organizations. Its goal is to construct a sustainable model for residents to develop a healthier, safer community.

"We are very grateful to the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York for recognizing the value of this critical initiative," said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., president of Niagara University. "This collaborative program will utilize the resources of several agencies and organizations to form a model that area residents can use toward developing healthier, more livable and safer communities."

"P2 is proud to be part of this innovative grassroots initiative to empower Niagara Falls residents to create a healthier Niagara Falls," said Shelley Hirshberg, executive director of the P2 Collaborative of WNY. "This is one of the best examples in Western New York of true collaboration."

"This project initially received a grant from the Oishei Foundation, and to receive an additional grant from the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York is icing on the cake," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. "This will go a long way in securing the efforts of the neighborhood visioning meeting, driving the initiative already in process by our collaborative partners, and ultimately making for a healthier Niagara Falls."

Implementation strategies will focus on leadership, environmental beautification, health and wellness, disease prevention and safety. The initiative will engage and build the capacity of residents to undertake projects that will improve their neighborhoods and alter how health care and human service agencies, municipal, community and faith-based organizations and local businesses work together to increase the likelihood of achieving the goals of the project.

A "Neighborhood Vision Meeting," the first activity of the project fund by the grant received from CHFWCNY, will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center (1201 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls).

Neighborhood residents, faith-based leaders, business owners, government representatives, service providers and other community organizations located within the boundary of the Main Street, Portage Road and Niagara Street areas are invited to attend. Attendees will take part in a group planning process, during which they will be asked to identify specific ideas on how to make their neighborhoods better places to live. A free lunch will be served to all participants.

For more information, contact Jill A. Shuey, executive director of ReNU Niagara, at 716-205-0287.

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