Englewood aims to create cohesion, inclusivity

Neighborhood Resources Program coordinator describes goals of new approach

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/24/20

Englewood has its eyes on establishing neighborhoods in the city, and it has a neighborhood resources coordinator to help carry out the process. Madeline Hinkfuss has been hired by Englewood to be …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Username
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution of $25 or more in Nov. 2018-2019, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access Includes access to all websites


Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Englewood aims to create cohesion, inclusivity

Neighborhood Resources Program coordinator describes goals of new approach

Posted

Englewood has its eyes on establishing neighborhoods in the city, and it has a neighborhood resources coordinator to help carry out the process.

Madeline Hinkfuss has been hired by Englewood to be the city's neighborhood resources coordinator. Her role was created as the city is kicking off its new Neighborhood Resources Program.

The program's mission is to build stronger and more inclusive neighborhoods in the city. Hinkfuss found that 56% of Englewood residents have lived in Englewood for five years or less — creating an opportunity for the city to try to create a sense of belonging for its residents through the Neighborhood Resources Program.

The program was created because of the high percentage of new residents, limited community engagement in city policy development and a sense of disconnectedness of neighbors to one another and the larger community, according to city documents.

In the coming months, the program will work on identifying neighborhood leaders and neighborhood boundaries, registering neighborhoods with the city and building neighborhood groups. There are currently not any neighborhood boundaries in Englewood.

Hinkfuss answered questions about herself, the program and more.

Tell us about your current role and background.

I previously worked for the city of Grandview (Missouri) in their Parks and Recreation Department and most recently in member services at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. I graduated from the University of Missouri with a Parks, Recreation and Tourism degree.

With Englewood's rich history and all the positive changes occurring in the community, the city wants to ensure neighborhoods in Englewood continue to be vibrant and connected, which is why the city is launching the new Neighborhood Resources Program.

In this new role, I will collaborate with residents and community members to build and organize neighborhood groups. I will encourage neighbors to become active residents and help determine the future of their neighborhood. Essentially, my role serves as a resource for residents.

How can building stronger and more inclusive neighborhoods benefit not only the city, but residents as well?

The program is centered on creating neighborhood groups that bring neighbors together to create a sense of belonging for neighbors, and a connection of residents to their neighborhoods and the Englewood community.

Organizing or being a part of a neighborhood group can make neighborhoods stronger and neighbors feel like they are a part of a community. As residents organize their neighborhoods, residents can expect the opportunity to get to know their neighbors. These opportunities may be through social gatherings, service days, block parties, education events with police officers or councilmembers and other events the neighborhood would like to organize. Neighborhoods will also be given assistance to access community resources and programs.

What is the biggest value of having a Neighborhood Resources Program?

When connections are established among neighbors, a variety of benefits can be seen over time.

Connectedness among a neighborhood can reduce crime, improve property maintenance, reduce recovery time after natural disasters and lead to stronger advocacy for needed improvements, such as parks or alley maintenance. Research also shows that a sense of belonging in neighborhoods creates positive health outcomes for residents, compared to individuals that have no sense of belonging or connection to others.

What can Englewood expect by establishing neighborhoods in the city?

Relationships between Englewood and neighborhood groups will strengthen the city. Local government works best when residents participate and when government responds to needs, wants and concerns of its residents.

Established neighborhood groups will also build pride in both the neighborhoods and the larger community, leading to improved property maintenance, reduced crime and healthier residents. Not only will neighborhood groups give the city an opportunity to educate residents on city projects, programs, resources and activities, but it will also help residents feel empowered and equipped to help with issues facing residents, neighborhoods and the city.

How does Englewood plan to get residents to participate in this program?

The neighborhood resources program is a volunteer-based program. If residents are interested in building a neighborhood group, the city is looking for neighborhood group leaders to begin the building process. Group leaders will form a group of neighbors to kick-start the group and determine neighborhood boundaries.

If you are interested in becoming a neighborhood group leader or learning more about the program, please visit englewoodco.gov/neighborhoods or email mhinkfuss@englewoodco.gov.

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.