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- AmeriCorps Program
Muskegon County Urban Safety Corps
Working to fight blight in Muskegon County
The County of Muskegon partners with local law enforcement to help reduce crime. By coupling community policing with citizen engagement, AmeriCorps members foster existing and form new neighborhood associations, perform blight elimination activities, and help to restore and beautify the community of the urban core neighborhoods. In addition, the AmeriCorps members leverage community volunteers who are engaged in community policing and revitalization efforts. This program helps to bridge the gap between law enforcement and residents while diminishing the effects of chronic decay and mistrust. This program has been implemented in Detroit and Flint neighborhoods, so we are excited to bring the efforts to West Michigan.
The Muskegon Urban Safety Corps aims to reduce victim attractiveness and susceptibility. Our Blight Team works together to clean out abandoned homes and vacant lots that are owned by the Muskegon County Land Bank.
This summer our target area has been in the Marsh Field Neighborhood in Muskegon and the northern area of Muskegon Heights. The Blight Team has managed to clean out several houses, compile large piles of brush, board up and secure abandon homes, as well as clean and beautify vacant lots. To see live tracking of our blight removal progress, please visit our AmeriCorps Impact page.
Engagement & Capacity Building
The Muskegon Urban Safety Corps wants to engage residents and improve levels of neighborhood guardianship. Attending Neighborhood Associations and various community events, Urban Safety Corps member have consistent interactions with the community.
Urban Safety Corps members were tasked with identifying neighborhood boundaries to build neighborhood associations in the City of Muskegon Heights. This required them to construct and distribute over 300 surveys to residents in the City of Muskegon Heights. Urban Safety Corps members helped to establish 6 neighborhood boundaries, with the exception of 2 that
were already established and functioning as a neighborhood association.
As one of our goals is to decrease victimization of reoccurring crimes throughout Muskegon County, Urban Safety Corps members created and present on Target Hardening in the
neighborhoods. Members have presented to 3 neighborhood associations on Target Hardening and distributed 54 target hardening kits. For this years National Night Out, members plan to distribute 200 target hardening kits to residents throughout Muskegon County.