Neighborhood News

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Voices of the Village – Neighborhood Task Force

The Neighborhood Task Force was created as one of the Voices of the Village priority task forces. Its goal is to develop a feeling of community in our neighborhoods and to work with others in dealing with the street people and the camps. It is a group of 21 individuals co-chaired by Jeanne Stevens and Patti Richards. Sue Eastman and Lili Seely serve as the co-secretaries. The group meets regularly at the First Federated Church on Main St in Hyannis.

Police Chief Paul MacDonald and Deputy Chief Craig Tamash met with the task force to provide an understanding on neighborhood watches and what makes them successful. They focused on the need for the neighbors to know each other and to have some events together (perhaps 3-4 times per year) for a neighborhood watch program to really work. Mark Ells and the GIS staff provided maps of Hyannis to facilitate the identification of natural neighborhoods. After much discussion on how to begin a neighborhood watch group,
the task force is developing a how to guide to create a neighborhood feeling that includes a watch component. Recognizing that all neighborhoods are slightly different, the plan will be fine-tuned each time it is used. A neighborhood has been identified for a pilot program and the task force will develop its plan throughout the summer.

At another meeting, Heidi Nelson, CEO of Duffy, and Rick Brigham from the Noah Shelter met with the task force to explain the new coalition between the two organizations. Key elements of the integration are the requirement for new residents of Noah to have a health assessment done by Duffy in order to remain a resident of Noah. Duffy is also providing additional case management services to the residents of Noah via their mobile van. Both organizations indicated that they are focusing on their service area of Cape Cod and the Islands and helping those not from the area return to their area of origin. Some brainstorming was done to develop an approach to help a neighborhood currently troubled by street people during the day when the shelter is closed. One of the members of the Neighborhood Task Force will be working with the neighborhood and Noah to address the neighborhood concerns.

Creating a sense of community is also a critical part of neighborhood development. This task force is spearheading the plan for a Voices of the Village float for the Town of Barnstable 4th of July parade. It will be an opportunity for all the task forces to come together and celebrate Hyannis. A special place in Hyannis will be represented on the float. The float will join with the Decorate Your Bike Contest and Parade sponsored by the Greater Hyannis Civic Association.

If you are interested in joining the task force, working on the float or the bike parade or for further information on the Voices of the Village, please contact the Voices of the Village Coordinating Committee at