Implemented in 2011, our first Police Housing Project showed us first-hand that moving a Police Officer into a formerly vacant home is the most sustainable way to create stability and peace in the community with the highest rate of violent crime in Atlanta. In her fourth year residing in English Avenue, Officer Wallace continues to make the community a more peaceful and safe place to live.
The eastern side of the community, where our second urban farm is located on Elm Street, is a different story. The high number of vacant homes makes this area a target for crime, and we plan to implement our second Police Housing Project there to address this public safety need. With over 43% of the homes sitting vacant in English Avenue, we have spent two years looking into numerous vacant homes to identify the right fit.
We have identified a vacant house, 385 Elm Street, sitting directly across the street from the Elm Street Urban Farm, to become our vehicle for change. This home was occupied by a drug dealer before it became vacant, a source of obvious concern for neighbors. A home that was once a source of fear for its’ neighbors will be transformed into a resource for community residents. In October of 2015, we purchased the home and began renovation work to get it ready for an Atlanta Police Officer to move into.
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity will provide the officer an opportunity for home ownership with an interest free mortgage, as well as home ownership education classes. The Atlanta Police Foundation will provide a take home patrol car, and $500 monthly stipend for a 3 year period.
Thanks to our 2016 Youth Summer Beautification Crew for installing the beautiful landscaping in the front and back yard, and the M.A.P. Project volunteers for installing the fence!