Community organizations work to unify city


Helping neighborhoods stay safe

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)–The Coalition of Neighborhood Organizations has been around since 1991, but this year they’re focused even more on growth and creating a safer city.

“The more that people come out and volunteer and come and help out your community, the more you get to know your neighbors the less issues you will end up seeing in the future,” said Sattin Screiner, Community Engagement and Education Coordinator for Dove. That’s the goal of some community groups, including the Coalition of Neighborhood Organizations. About 15 neighborhood groups are currently participating.

“Some of the inner city neighborhoods really needed a lot of attention both physically as far as the cosmetics as well as safety,” said Sue Lawson, President of the Coalition of Neighborhood Organizations. Data from the City of Decatur shows from January until September of 2019 there were 310 burglaries, 999 thefts, and 274 violent crimes. This group is trying to bring those numbers down. “Ultimately we would like to have a neighborhood organization on every inch of the city of Decatur,” said Lawson.

With the help of other organizations with a similar goal, like Dove’s Community Services Program, they’re hoping to make a difference. “Share issues they’re having in their neighborhood and collaborate on ways that other neighborhoods have worked through those issues,” said Screiner. “We do beautification. We do cleanups. We take stuff to dumpsters when we have a cleanup in the city,” said Lawson. They also remodel rooms in low to moderate income homes, and inspire kids to get more involved in the community. It’s one big effort to bring unity throughout the city.

Their next meeting will be the 3rd Tuesday of this month at 5:30pm at the Decatur Public Library.

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