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  • Writer's pictureSouthside Gateway Community Planning Team

Working Groups Updates

Working Groups Updates feature image with paper cutouts

Check back here for the latest updates on monthly meetings!

The Southside Gateway planning team is uplifting our collective voice by bringing together community stakeholders. Combined with resident feedback collected from community events, the Working Groups’ input will be divided into the Neighborhood, Housing, and People topics from the HUD Choice Neighborhoods Model and then incorporated into the final Southside Gateway Community Plan.

Meeting 6 | Draft Plan | May

In May, the three newly restructured Working Groups will discuss input received during the Draft Plan Presentation event. Participants will also work to finalize partners, goals and strategies, the implementation timeline, and funding sources to prepare to submit a draft of the Southside Gateway Community Plan to HUD on June 22, 2024. 

Working Groups will reconvene in the fall of 2024 to address feedback from HUD. Meetings will include:

  • Meeting 7 | Strengthen the Plan | September

  • Meeting 8 | Strengthen the Plan | October

  • Meeting 9 | Finalize the Plan | November

Meeting 5 | Outcomes & Metrics | April

Working Groups met in April to discuss the measurable outcomes for each of the existing goals and strategies and how these outcomes will showcase success.

Then, anticipating the upcoming restructuring in May, participants outlined the purpose and expectations for three new Working Groups—Neighborhood, People, and Housing. This shift from six to three groups will enable participants to more effectively refine the plan in keeping with HUD’s requirements for Choice Neighborhoods transformation plans.

Meeting 4 | Strategies & Outcomes | March

Working Groups met in late March to: 

  • Continue working on goals for the Southside Gateway community based on our January and February meetings

  • Provide feedback on goals and strategies 

  • Set priority strategies and desirable, measurable outcomes 

The Education group focused on goals for grade school, emphasizing literacy and career exploration. The Arts & Culture group aimed to create a vibrant neighborhood in South Lorain, emphasizing safety and cultural pride through community outreach and the establishment of maker spaces.

The discussion for the support services working group included the need to foster community connectivity, revitalize Pearl Avenue, redesign Southside Gardens, and address displacement concerns.

Meeting 3 | Goals & Strategies | February

Working Groups met for the third time in late February 2024 to: 

  • Refine the goals for the Southside Gateway community based on the initial January meeting

  • Provide feedback on draft goals and initial strategies 

  • Prepare for the Community Draft Plan Workshop on March 26, 2024

The goals for Youth Programming were received well by the Working Group, and participants added they wanted to emphasize access-oriented goals. In the Supportive Services group, participants suggested that immediate priority should be given to building a mixed-use community center to house a range of activities. 

The Working Groups also gave additional commentary on the proposed strategies. In the Arts & Culture group, participants highlighted the importance of cultivating strategies that are geared towards resiliency. The Education group discussed creating specific goals for each stage of education. The Public Health group added that there should be incentives to be healthy in the community, such as programs that would encourage healthy living.

Meeting 2 | Vision & Goals | January

Working Groups met for the second time during the third week of January 2024 to:

  • Refine the vision for the future of Southside Gardens

  • Set initial goals that will support this vision

In reviewing the vision statements, the Youth Programming and Workforce Development groups emphasized adding the idea of safety to their statements. Multiple groups advised that the vision statements should focus more on the present and the future rather than the past. The groups also highlighted the inclusion of family-driven language. 

The Working Groups brainstormed a range of goals to expand on the vision statements. The Education group discussed the importance of summer programming and meeting diverse family needs. The Arts & Culture group expressed an interest in establishing better transportation services to ensure Southside Gardens residents can access parks and other natural resources. 

Meeting 1 | Kick Off | December 2023

The Working Groups kick-off event was held at the Lorain Public Library main branch and attended by over 40 individuals from organizations across the city.

For more information, read the December Update post.


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