JORDAN PARK UPDATE
By CEO, Michael O. Lundy
Citizen Advisory Committee (CRA)
On April 6, 2021, Mr. Brian Evjen and I appeared before the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to answer questions related to our formal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) application for $2 Million to help fund the redevelopment of Jordan Park. There were several questions centered around total "Project-Funding" and "Resident Relocation". I am happy to report that the CAC approved the resolution to award $2 Million for the redevelopment of Jordan Park with the stipulation that we comply with applicable relocation requirements.
Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Grant Award
As a strategic approach to initiating and enhancing resident self-sufficiency programs, in November 2020, SPHA submitted an application to receive its first ROSS grant. If granted, the Service Coordinator would be assigned to Jordan Park to work directly and indirectly with the residents.
On April 7, 2021, SPHA received notice that it had been awarded the ROSS grant in the amount of $186,850 to pay for the salary of one (1) Social Worker for a grant period of 3 years. Now that we were successful in competing for our agency's first ROSS grant, we are positioned to receive additional ROSS grant funding as long as we comply with the terms of the grant.
Special thanks to Ms. Danielle Thomas and her team for their sweat in the submission of the application.
Since our last meeting, I have been working with representatives from Duke Energy to discuss lighting upgrades for Jordan Park to include smart dusk-to-dawn technology as well as cutting-edge cameras to be installed at entry points of the site as well as near and around the community building.
Public Safety Meeting
On April 8, 2021, SPHA hosted an in-person and virtual public safety meeting in Jordan Park in light of recent occurrences of non-residents driving through Jordan Park flashing weapons, discharging firearms in and around Jordan Park. Most recently, there was a fatal shooting of a young woman in a nearby community.
The meeting was well attended with about 20 residents, Chairman Dates, Sergeant Mark Williams of the St. Petersburg Police Department, and SPHA staff. The residents expressed their concerns about permitting their children to play outside their apartments due to the discharge of firearms. Residents also reported an increase in cars coming through the site at high speeds and engaging in toe tagging.
During my comments, I informed the residents that SPHA has a good partnership with the City of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Police Department and that we will continue to partner to improve their public safety. I shared that as part of the redevelopment of Jordan Park, we will increase and improve the lighting, add more speed bumps as well as look into strategically installing cameras.
Sergeant Mark Williams spoke about his department's commitment to public safety and the need to improve communication between the St. Petersburg Police Department and residents.
Chairman Dates shared with the residents that the SPHA's Board of Commissioners are committed to the public safety of the families it serves and will be working with staff, partners and stakeholders to improve public safety at Jordan Park.
The meeting ended with my forming an ad hoc Public Safety Committee consisting of myself, staff, two volunteer residents and a member of the St. Petersburg Police Department to meet regularly to discuss public safety concerns and identify practical solutions.