Visible signs of a healthy neighborhood include cleanliness, well-maintained properties, and an air of friendliness. Less visible signs include a feeling of safety.
A recent article in the Buffalo News by reporter Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich suggested that residents of Buffalo’s Lower West Side may be feeling safer following the conviction of members of the 10th Street Gang in early September.
At a recent news conference, U. S. Attorney William J. Hochul and Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda were joined by William Wieczorek, director of Buffalo State’s Institute for Community Health Promotion. Wieczorek, who serves as head of the West Side Youth Development Coalition, told Radlich that the absence of fear “helps change everything.”
Wieczorek has been championing healthy neighborhoods for years, arguing that public health is well served by supporting neighborhood initiatives to change individual behavior, such as underage drinking and undeveloped parenting skills. He was named a Health Leadership Fellow by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York in 2013.
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