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"Safe Streets, Healthy Kids": An Introduction

Listen: Like springtime, the 2010 Neighborhood Project passed in a flash of sunny, green days. Seven weeks and seven neighborhoods of stories, revealing both challenges that make communities unique and commonalities that tie us together. Former 88Nine Program Director Sam Van Halgren wrote this line for our recap last year “…the city became both smaller and more familiar, and much larger than we could capture…” and I don’t think there’s a better way of putting it. The city’s richness and depth speak through its neighborhoods, and as always, I am unbelievably grateful that I’ve been able to bring my madcap explorations to you on this blog and on-air.

All those personalities and voices will remain archived here on the Unified Milwaukee blog, and The Neighborhood Project will be back next year for a third installment (and sometime this weekend, I’ll probably have a chance to sit down and flesh out some of my reflections and ruminations on the Neighborhood Project for the blog — been pretty busy lately).

And so, on this second day of Summer, I am happy to present the 2010 Safe Streets, Healthy Kids Project, our focus for the months of June, July, and August. In the summer months, Milwaukee’s youth are out of school, filling their days with choices unique to this time of year. They depend on their family, community, and city to keep them safe and provide them with safety and positive outlets for their time.

The Safe Streets, Healthy Kids Project will explore Safe Havens in the lives of youth. A “safe haven” is anything from a physical building, like a church or school or community center, to a more conceptual safe haven, like a relationship or a state of mind or one’s self. What are the activities, who are the people, and where are the places providing youth security and healthy options?

Each week, we will bring our listeners audio pieces featuring the following:

-An exploration of a different Safe Haven in collaboration with organizations and agencies around the Milwaukee community . Our Safe Havens include Athletics, Family/Home, Learning, Well Being, Creativity, Employment, Faith, and Mentorship,

-The diverse voices of Milwaukee’s youth, presenting their summer, their lives, and their unique personality.

We’ve already got pieces running on the air, and they’ll be coming to the blog soon. Look out — it’s going to be a lot of fun!

A safe and healthy kid -- my little and one of our friends (from Big Brothers Big Sisters field trip to the Harley Museum)