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257Central Park Village Relocation Project (USF Collaborative)

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  • Alvin W. Wolfe
    Aug 13, 2006

        Central Park Village Relocation Project

      USF Collaborative for Children, Families and Communities

      Neighborhood and Communities Workgroup


      This is an invitation to participate in a planning meeting to mobilize USF resources in social science/social work, planning, health, education, aging, and transportation to aid low income families in Tampa who are facing imminent relocation from Central Park Village, a downtown housing project slated for demolition and redevelopment. USF is in a unique position to offer researchable questions that will have broader impact on Central Park Village as well as on the surrounding neighborhood.


      Planning meeting.  On August 24th, 2006, we will hold a planning meeting to discuss ideas for aiding the residents who are scheduled for relocation.  It will be held at the Florida Mental Health Institute, Room MHC 1503 from 10:00am to 12:00noon.  We are hoping to attract faculty, staff, and students from across the university whose expertise and research interests intersect with the needs of the relocation process.  Representatives of the Tampa Housing Authority and Central Park Village residents will also attend to outline their goals and begin a dialogue about the assistance we might provide.  Please let me know if you are planning on attending via email rpuddy@... or 974-7318.


      Background. In February 2005, the Collaborative sponsored a day-long community forum to explore potential problems associated with prospective redevelopment of the Central Park facility and to identify areas of university-community collaboration in ameliorating these problems. Eighteen months later, redevelopment plans are nearly complete. The purpose of the proposed Collaborative effort is to follow up on suggestions that came forth in the 2005 forum (http://www.usfcollab.usf.edu/neighborhoodsdetail.cfm?areaID=5), as well as needs that have been identified since that event. 


      About 1300 residents of Central Park Village will be relocated over the next year.  This process began in mid-July with a small number of emergency cases.  Large scale relocations are anticipated to start in the next 2-3 months.


      Residents who will undergo this experience may improve the quality of their housing and neighborhood environments.  However, the transition will be challenging in significant ways. 


      1.                  Many children will have to change schools. 


      2.                  Youth will be exposed to new and potentially hostile neighborhood social systems.


      3.                  Working adults without cars will have to negotiate unfamiliar and largely inadequate public transit services. 


      4.                  Parents will need to secure child care and after school programs compatible with their new residential locations. 


      5.                  People with disabilities or health problems will need to readjust their access to medical and other needed services.  Elderly residents will confront many new challenges.


      6.                  Families and friends will find it more difficult to maintain contact with each other. 


      Please join us to explore ways that the faculty, staff, and students at USF might be helpful to the residents who are going through this process.  This situation offers opportunities for both research and service learning.  It also provides a potential site for volunteerism, especially with tutoring and mentoring.  If you want to be involved, but cannot attend this meeting, or would like further information about it, please contact Susan Greenbaum (greenbau@...; 974-0777), Cheryl Rodriguez (crodrigu@...; 974-4435), or Harold Keller (hkeller@...;  974-6709).



      Richard W. Puddy

      Assistant Director

      USF Collaborative for Children, Families and Communities

      13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. MHC 1129

      Tampa, FL 33612

      813-974-7318 (Voice)

      813-974-7571 (Fax)