EAST BLUFF NEIGHBORHOOD PROJECTS
Developing housing in a neighborhood also means being involved in the neighborhood. Since 2011, while preparing to develop housing, POF has participated in East Bluff activities: attending community meetings, hosting the neighborhood LISC launch party, and coordinating grant applications with neighborhood and City partners, etc. Here are some of the projects POF spearheaded in the last several years.
Youth Lawn Care Program
During the summers of 2013 and 2014, POF managed a Youth Lawn Care Program. The objective of the program was twofold:
- Provide jobs and employment training to youth during the summer
- Improve visual curb appeal in the East Bluff neighborhood
The youth participated in classroom training, learning basic employment skills, such as job commitment, follow through, punctuality, and teamwork. During the classroom time, they also learned basic sales skills to help them acquire customers.
Under supervision, the youth canvassed the neighborhood for customers, going door-to-door, explaining the lawn care service and asking for the resident’s business. The youth mowed grass, trimmed weeds and picked up litter in the East Bluff neighborhood. The East Bluff Lawn Care Service also mowed the 40 City-owned East Bluff lots, at no fee.
The Program provided a constructive activity, a small income for the youth and the experience of self-sufficiency.
Youth also learned the life skills of yard maintenance and lawn mower maintenance.
Wisconsin Avenue Mural
In July 2012, Peoria Opportunities Foundation organized a neighborhood party to announce LISC’s commitment to the East Bluff neighborhood. About 500 neighborhood residents showed up along with LISC executives, Peoria’s mayor, City council members, etc. As a lasting addition to the neighborhood, mural was created on a building across from the Glen Oak Learning Center.
Little Free Libraries
With the help of a woodworking East Bluff resident, POF started an East Bluff trend, installing Little Free Libraries in the neighborhood. The Little Free Library is a nationwide program whereby donated books are stocked in a small house. The house is attached to a post which is securely installed at a public location. Children and parents are encouraged to take a book to read and return it for their neighbors to read.
The East Bluff’s first Little Free Library was installed in front of the East Bluff Community Center and POF’s office at 512 E. Kansas Street. POF provided funding for two Little Free Libraries and LISC is funding four more Little Free Libraries.
On a Saturday in November 2013, POF organized a group of neighborhood volunteers to plant 1,000 daffodil bulbs in the East Bluff Neighborhood. The daffodils have bloomed for two seasons and will bloom every Spring.
Christmas Tree Give Away
Every year at Christmas, St. Bernard’s Church has a Food Basket Pick-Up for needy families in the neighborhood. POF started helping in 2013 by adding lunch, Christmas trees with stands, toys, and clothes. We’ve also coordinated some Christmas Caroling.
LATEST EVENTS/ NEWS
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On Thursday, April16, 2015 Peoria Opportunities Foundation held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to announce the completion of its first home renovation in Peoria’s East Bluff Neighborhood. The renovation was sponsored by Greater Peoria LISC. The house is located at 1700 N. Wisconsin Avenue.
POF purchased the house in 2014. It was rental property at that time. POF renovation included new paint, carpet, tile, doors, windows, roof, central air, kitchen cupboards and appliances, and bathroom fixtures. The front and back porches were also re-built. POF plans to sell the home to an income qualified family. (A family of two can have a maximum income of $43,000.)