Community Advocacy Success Stories

Through collaboration with the Bloomington/ Normal Area Project, the Arbors complex management, the Arbors community committee, and the Bloomington Police Department efforts were made at the site to decrease cyber bulling and bullying. Many bullying and harassment issues occurred at the Arbors complex, at the bus stop and on the school bus returning to the complex. The committee met with a Bloomington police officer and he informed the committee that he could do an informational and training presentation to the youth and parents on bullying and cyber bullying. After the training, the management and the Police Department took several steps to deter resident youth from continuously causing problems on the complex. They began to inform the parents of youths involved in bullying that possible eviction could occur, or tickets could be issued to the youth for his or her unacceptable behavior. The police and resident collaboration, issues of bullying have decreased significantly since this training and intervention.

Ann is a single mom with four kids and has volunteered in the Community Youth Service program on various occasions. She and her four kids lived with her mom in a cramped two bedroom housing unit. Ann applied for housing at various apartment complexes but was denied because she didn’t have enough income and there was negative information on her credit report. The Community Youth Service worker assisted Ann with steps to clean up her credit report, referred her to an apartment complex, and provided her with resources to assist with the deposit. Through the efforts of the Community Youth Service worker, Ann and her four kids have moved into an apartment. She continues working towards attaining her GED and appreciates the stability and security this new living arrangement provides her children.

The Richland Farms community committee received a grant from Ameren-Cilco, to organize a “Family Safety” night in their neighborhood. The Health Department, the Fondulac Park District, the State Police, the Children Hospital of Illinois, the East Peoria Fire Department, the Red Cross, the Child and Family Connections, Head Start and the Center for Youth and Family Solutions collaborated on this event. Parents and youth were presented information on a range of prevention and safety issues. Some of the information covered included gun locks, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, booster seats, the West Nile virus, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and baby monitors. The Ident-A-Kid child ID program was also provided at this event. The event had over 150 youth and their parents attending. Following the event the committee decided to start forming a “neighborhood watch” program in the area. The program is still in the early stages but does currently have six members and a president that hosts the meetings. The hope is to become an official city neighborhood watch program within the next few months.