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Providence Neighborhood works with City of Tallahassee, FSU for stronger tomorrow

Identifying and addressing needs in Providence
Posted at 4:13 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 16:25:53-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Affordable housing and youth-centered community partnerships are the number one things community members want to see in the Providence Neighborhood.

David Van Williams, a resident of Providence, said he's looking forward to the changes that are coming down the pike.

"It will improve the quality of life of everybody in the neighborhood."

Florida State University's Department of Urban and Regional Planning worked with the Providence community to find out what they want.

They're trying to make their neighborhood a stronger place to live.

FSU was contracted by the City of Tallahassee's Neighborhood Affairs to refresh the Providence Renaissance Plan that began back in 2003.

Their findings show neighbors want better public safety along with affordable housing.

Rahni Wright with the Providence Neighborhood Association says one of their long-term goals is to make sure people who are working have somewhere affordable to call home.

"We want to make sure as people try their hardest, they still have a safety net so we're looking to find some innovative ways for housing."

As part of the City's Neighborhood First Plan, the Providence community will get most of the funding for the plan from the Community Redevelopment Agency. They may get around $6 million to address issues FSU helped identify like infrastructure, community empowerment, human capital, and economic development.

Manager of the City of Tallahassee's Neighborhood Affairs, John Baker, said this collaboration will make the planning process much more effective so community members can thrive.

"For them to have a place to call home that they're proud of."

The Providence Neighborhood Association will take FSU's plan and work on community engagement to find people who want to shape the future of the neighborhood. From there, the association will develop a Community Action Team of 20 members who will take FSU's findings and work with the association and city to create a new renaissance plan.

Will Hill works and lives in the Providence Neighborhood and says this will build a stronger future.

"This marks an opportunity for us to make the community I live in more resilient."

In January, the city will start the planning process and within the next 12 to 18 months the new Providence Neighborhood Renaissance Plan will roll out in the community.