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In This Issue    2013 Wrap-Up | City of Light Shines on 10th St
Public Hearing on Porter Ave | Niagara Street Workshop | B District Meeting
Winter Parking Restrictions  | Queen City Market | Holiday Shopping for HOCN




It's hard to believe that it's already December. As we look back on the year, our 15th year as a Community Development Corporation for the Lower West Side community, we have so much to be grateful for. With the help of our funders and supporters, we were able to invest $1,432,906 directly into the neighborhood this year!

In 2013 alone, we have restored two vacant houses under our H.O.P.E. Program while simultaneously providing two families with their first owned-homes. After six years of planning, we finally completed our two townhome in-fill project on Hudson Street, known as the Cynthia Gardens Apartments, and provided eight families with affordable, green, rental homes. In addition to these major developments, we provided minor home repair assistance to 13 units of owner occupied housing in our neighborhood, assisting 7 low-income homeowners and six of their tenants. These repairs were made possible through our Green & Healthy Homes, Planning to Stay, and Stable Homes Programs.

In addition to our housing work, we educated over 300 individuals through our financial fitness course, and were able to host a Community Planning Workshop for Lower West Side residents this summer, working to connect neighbors and hear straight from you what you'd like to see happen in our neighborhood. We can't wait to see the exciting initiatives and projects that will enhance Niagara Street happen next year, and look forward to continuing to work with residents to make sure their voices get heard as investment happens in our community.

Thanks to your continued support, we were able to help lower maintenance costs for nine homeowners, provide safe, healthy, affordable housing for fourteen tenants, and restore vacant homes. Two rehabs, eight rental units, and thirteen home repairs later, we can't wait for what 2014 will bring! We'll be completing a gut-rehab on another vacant home on Whitney, 178 Whitney Place, as well as continuing to provide minor home repair to homeowners in the area with the welcomed addition of a $552,000 grant the NYS Affordable Housing Corporation has just awarded us this past month.

We send you our sincerest gratitude for your continued support this holiday season. The work we do is made possible by friends like yourself who believe that everyone has the right to a safe, affordable home.

Thank you for all of your support in 2013! And on behalf of our staff and board, we hope you and yours have a very happy New Year!


Stephanie Simeon
Executive Director



Looking for ways to get involved in the neighborhood this holiday season?

City of Light is coming to the neighborhood this Saturday! The B Team Buffalo is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club on Tenth Street to decorate homes in the surrounding neighborhood, free of charge, on Saturday, December 7th.

Each holiday season, members of B-Team Buffalo organize a grassroots event called City of Light. In essence, the goal of the initiative is to decorate a neighborhood in the city so that it shines for the holidays. This year, B-Team Buffalo has chosen the neighborhood surrounding the John F. Beecher Boys and Girls Clubhouse as the recipient for the decorating project. Not only will the team be decorating the streets, volunteers will also be adding a sparkling touch to houses in the neighborhood. On top of that, B-Team Buffalo will be hosting a winter carnival at the clubhouse, providing the neighborhood children with gifts (from Santa!), games, prizes, crafts, and other activities throughout the day, and we gather the residents and volunteers together for a celebration and tree-lighting ceremony & candlelit caroling. But we can’t do it without you!

Volunteer Event Schedule:
8:00am: Sign in and breakfast provided by Coffee Culture Elmwood
9:00am: Decorating begins!
1:00pm: Lunch for volunteers provided by Roaming Buffalo Food Truck
2:00-4:00pm: Carnival and more decorating!
4:00-5:30pm: Carnival Clean up
5:30pm: Tree Lighting Ceremony
6:00pm: Dinner

There are three suggested volunteer shifts online here, but shifts can be customized to fit into your schedule. Every hour of volunteering is appreciated!

If you're interested in volunteering for this great event, register for a time slot here or contact Elizabeth Callahan at B Team Buffalo at (716) 984-7660 or by email.




On Wednesday, December 18th, from 4:00pm-8:00pm at the Connecticut Street Armory, 184 Connecticut Street, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) will be holding a public hearing on the proposed Gateway Connections Project to the U.S. Peace Bridge. Residents will have an opportunity to submit oral and written comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project. This project entails removing Baird Drive to restore Front Park, as well as adding a traffic circle to Porter Avenue by 4th Street, and creating new inbound and outbound ramps for the Interstate 190 and Peace Bridge. More information can be found on the DOT's website. You can also see renderings of the proposed changes here. A presentation will take place at 5:00pm. All residents of the West Side are encouraged to attend and provide feedback to the plan.

Before this public hearing, you have an opportunity to meet with community groups and residents to learn more about the proposal. Want to know where trucks are being rerouted in your neighborhood? Want to know how the project will impact your health? Want to make sure you can still get to Front Park? To LaSalle Park? The Clean Air Coalition of WNY invites you to join them on Tuesday, December 10th from 6:00- 8:00 PM at Hispanics United of Buffalo, 254 Virginia Street to learn:
-About the laws the Department of Transportation must follow, and the social movement that fought for them
-What the Department of Transportation is proposing to spend $28.5 million on
-How to prepare public comments for the public meeting on December 18th

Rides to and from the meeting are being provided. Call the Clean Air Coalition at 716-852-3813 if you need a ride. Refreshments will be served, and kids are welcome.


The NFTA would like to invite you to their first public workshop on Tuesday, December 17th at Holy Cross School, 150 Maryland Street from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

The NFTA is embarking on a transit improvement project on the Niagara Street Corridor. Through coordination with the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council and the City of Buffalo’s street improvements, this project will afford us an exciting opportunity to provide transit enhancements on one of our busiest bus routes along Niagara Street between downtown Buffalo and the Riverside community.

NFTA-Metro received a federal grant to create a comprehensive urban transit corridor in the City of Buffalo that will improve bus service delivery and present opportunities for neighborhood revitalization, transit oriented development and improve livability for local residents. The Niagara Street Corridor will act as a model for future corridors in the NFTA service area.

The transit elements of the project include the following:
•The design and construction of a compact neighborhood transit center and Park-and-Ride at Niagara and Ontario Streets.
•The purchase of five Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses.
•Traffic Signal Priority Technology to allow the buses to remain on schedule.
•New bus shelters with solar powered kits and next bus notification technology.

A presentation will take place at 6:30pm during the public workshop on December 17th. The workshop will provide an overview of the entire project but will focus on the stop and shelter locations from Niagara Square to Porter Avenue.



The next B District Police meeting will be held on Monday, December 9th at 10:00am in 695 Main Street. For questions, please contact the District's Community Police Officer (CPO), Officer Quintana.



Don't forget, Winter Parking Restrictions are in place for streets with bus routes. There's no parking from 1:30am-7:00am until April 1st. For a list of streets that are not enforced, visit the City of Buffalo's website.





Looking to do some holiday shopping this weekend? The Queen City Market will be held on a Saturday, December 7th, 2013 from 11:00am - 5:00pm, at the Karpeles Manuscript Library on Porter Avenue.

This event will feature a lot of 50+ local vendors, selling either handmade or vintage items. Each vendor was handpicked to guarantee a wide selection of goods - including jewelry, ceramics, vintage clothing and housewares, local foods, and much more. This is a free event and is open to the public, so pass on an invitation to your family and neighbors!

See a full list of vendors and food trucks attending on the Queen City Market Facebook Event and Page.  For more information on the event, email the Queen City Market organizers.





Did you know that you can support HOCN with every online purchase you make this holiday season? Use GoodShop when you make online purchases at stores like Amazon, 1800Flowers, Target, Walgreens, and so much more! A portion of your purchase will be directly donated to us at no additional cost to you! What could be easier? And did we mention there's coupons on GoodShop? Start shopping through GoodShop today! Don't forget to set up 'Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.' as your cause! Learn more about GoodShop here.


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