A cohort of Near West Side Partners, Marquette University and City of Milwaukee Housing Authority staff had the opportunity to attend the “Choice Means Choice” conference November 13th – 15th hosted by Urban Strategies, a not-for-profit organization that specializes in results informed human services development, planning, and strategy implementation as part of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization. #CMCNOLA19

Hear from Ken Barbeau and Vanessa Koster below on their thoughts from an interview at the conference.

The group including Vanessa Koster (City of Milwaukee), Patrick Kennelly (Marquette University), Delicia Morris (Housing Authority), Ken Barbeau (Housing Authority), Paul Williams (Housing Authority), Britney Roberson (Near West Side Partners) and Keith Stanley (Near West Side Partners) attended sessions such as Equitable Housing Development, Sustainable Food Systems and Art of Engagement to learn more of the ways to support the work of the Choice Neighborhood grant that we are implementing in the Near West Side. #CMCNOLA19

Delicia Morris who heads up community engagement efforts at Westlawn’s Choice Neighborhood community in Milwaukee talks below about what she learned from the conference. #CMCNOLA19

Conference Highlights

As part of a presentation on “Housing as a Social Determinant of Health” vice president of Product Strategy and Social Determinants of Health, Centene Corporation, Laura Sankey highlights what are the key determinants of health to include genetics, health care and the most important social, environmental and behavioral factors, see the above graphic from the presentation.

Another highlight was the Opportunity Zones presentation with four panelist to include: John Benton, Director of Affordable Housing, Concourse Group, Peter Lifari, Executive Director, Unison Housing Partners, Sandra M. Moore, Managing Director, Advantage Capital and, Rachel Reilly, Director of Impact Strategy, EIG. Some key takeaways was the work and Opportunity Zone project completed in West Philadelphia at the Enterprise Center and the strategies on how to engage philanthropic investors into Opportunities Zones by targeting investment groups.

More about Choice Neighborhood

In conjunction with the Marquette University, the Near West Side became a Choice Neighborhood in September 2018. This designation provides resources to Marquette University, Near West Side Partners, Housing Authority of City of Milwaukee and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to focus on College Court, a 251-unit public housing development in Cold Springs Park. Specifically, the partners are tasked with developing a Transformation Plan for College Court and the surrounding community. #CMCNOLA19

For more information on Choice Neighborhoods please visit their website.

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