Covering the Land of Lincoln

Neighborhood Initiative introduces residents to essential resources

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – An initiative by the city makes its way around Rockford to improve six neighborhoods most in need of some upgrades and connects residents with the right resources that can enhance their quality of life.

This month’s initiative focused on the area surrounded by Broadway, Kishwaukee, the railroad tracks and 8th St. While Saturday marks the fourth clean-up this summer, some say each month has something new to offer.

City leaders and community partners clean worn-down neighborhoods while connecting residents with essential services right in their backyard, some of which they didn’t even know existed.

“We’re cleaning it up with different opportunities as with physical items, as well as being of the community to be able to give them extra resources that they need,” says Rock House Kids Executive Director Dee Lacny.

One of those resources is Rock House Kids, a non-profit organization that helps at-risk children, which they’ve done for over two decades.

“We would like families that we do know as well as ones don’t know because unfortunately there are still people that don’t know rock house kids is here… We hope that a lot of people come up and take us up on everything that’s there for them,” says Lacny.

Lacny feels honored for rock house kids to participate in the initiative and spread the word about their mission.

“The main thing is getting the community out and to see that there are different areas of Rockford that can be helping them out with different needs.”

Another important partner in this initiative is the Rockford police department. One officer says it’s part of their plan to keep the community engaged while reducing crime.

“The police department is constantly working with the community as part of our strategic policing strategy to get out there and engage the community at all different levels just going around, picking up the trash, and trying to let people see how beautiful the community is and helping out in any way we can,” says Rockford Police Department Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke.

The next workday will be Saturday, August 20th in the area marked by West Middle School, Kenmore Avenue and the alley east of Kilburn and Custer Avenue. The initiative concludes in September on Lincoln and island streets from S. Main St. to Custer avenue.

The city started the initiative in April near Lewis Lemon Elementary School and spent the next two months in the areas near Haskell Elementary School.

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