After several weeks pealing away the rich layers of the Hazelwood community were able to uncover of topics of workforce development, infrastructure, politics, community collaboration, city planning and bureaucracy. From our preliminary research, four primary themes have emerged: 1) bureaucracy & politics, 2) generational gap, 3) community planning and engagement, 4) resiliency of a community.
- Bureaucracy & politics
- Conscious decision by city gov’t to divert attention to the Hazelwood community
- Government dollars that never get to Hazelwood; community development block grants are supposed to come to community like this, and politicians got walk-around money that’s supposed to come in large numbers but only comes in small numbers.
- Not enough business or jobs- there are efforts to increase ability and access to get to jobs for Hazelwood residents but unrelatable workforce development training programs.
- Hazelwood is treated as a data point, a test bed for impoverished communities.
- Generational gap
- What do you miss vs. what do you want?
- Older generations remember and love about their community and want to use their knowledge to build a foundation for the younger generation – but don’t know how.
- For the younger generation, it’s more about what they would like to experience as they are growing up in Hazelwood – what do you want?
- Community planning and engagement
- Hazelwood leaders have the best idea of what should be in their community and what their community wants. They would like to build greater relationships with other organizations so it’s more of a collaborative effort. They want other orgs to work with them to address real felt issues in community – set their own terms, get corporations to give back to their communities.
- What are the current methods of city planning and engagement?
- Understanding what community leaders are doing now to address community concerns and planning, juxtaposed with what the community actually wants.
- Transparency and resiliency of community
- How might we facilitate an open door culture throughout the Hazelwood community?
- When things are taken away from a community, what happens?
- What do people in the community miss (all the missed opportunities)?
- Where do children in this community play?
Moving forward, there are systems questions that we’d like to address:
- What does it take to get to an entity like Uber (and other similar organizations, companies, and establishments) to invest in the native community of Hazelwood?
- In a community that’s been broken, what does it mean to rebuild social and economic connections in a meaningful way?
- How might we build a system that is relevant to its people? (starts from people and goes out into the community)
- How can we increase the visibility of a community like this, that is feeling forgotten even if they’re interacted with?
Post from Justin, Dan, Jonathan