2015 was a very busy and exciting year in Middle Main Poughkeepsie! New community events were launched, new groups formed, new businesses opened, and new investment was made in local real estate. After 6 years of working to create a strong, vibrant, and creative neighborhood of choice, we are truly seeing some results! Thanks to everyone who worked with Hudson River Housing this year to act on our #Poughtential.
Some highlights from 2015:
- The Monthly Community-Meet-Ups have continued to provide an open forum for people to cultivate a shared vision of a VIBRANT community and come together to learn, build partnerships, and take action
- The POK Pop-Up Shop launched as a social enterprise that sells Poughkeepsie-made and branded items at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, the Arlington Farmers Market and other events around the region
- The Made in Middle Main small business network continued to grow, and now includes nearly 20% of Middle Main businesses
- 25 individuals graduated from the Community Leadership Program in May, resulting in many exciting projects such as myPoughkeepsie and sPOKe Poughkeepsie
- In June, residents organized the first Poughkeepsie Open Studios tour, attracting hundreds of attendees to the historic city center and unifying the many arts organizations and artists practicing in the area
- A Community Leaders Reception was held to celebrate those who have taken a leadership role in this initiative, and to honor Omar Garibay with the 2015 Middle Main Resident Leadership Award
- 15 colorful street pole banners were raised, each sponsored by a local business partner
- Middle Main Clean-Ups were ‘adopted’ by several community partners
- 8 residents attended the Community Leadership Institute in Louisville, Kentucky, where they gained valuable leadership skills and outlined a collaborative beautification project called ‘POKeep it Clean’. Stay tuned for more details!
- The 5th Annual Celebration of Dia de los Muertos attracted over 700 people to Middle Main through art workshops, partner events, and the Grand Celebration
- Redevelopment of the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory began in earnest. Improvements were made to the pocket park and it was re-named Murphy Park in honor of retiring Executive Director Ed Murphy. Two inspiring anchor tenants committed to occupy portions of the commercial space when it opens next summer. Please support and follow North River Roasters and A Centre for Women’s Work as they begin their operations!
In 2015 we participated in over 100 events, engaged with more than 5,000 people, and coordinated over 350 volunteers. While these numbers are impressive, they do not always tell us if this work is making an impact. So, this past year we surveyed over 200 neighborhood stakeholders about their experience in Middle Main.
- 80% reported feeling safe walking in Middle Main during the day
- 75% recommend this as a good place to visit
- 73% recommend it as a good place to open a business
- 82% said it’s a good place to eat!
- 65% have a positive future outlook, feeling that this neighborhood will improve over the next 3 years
We are very encouraged by these survey results, but understand that challenges still persist in this community. Hudson River Housing is committed to building on this progress in 2016 with even more innovative strategies and partnerships and we are so grateful to have the energy, creativity, and support of each of you.
Now, help us kick-off 2016 at the annual Middle Main Happy Hour! Join friends and neighbors on Wednesday, January 6th from 5-7 at the Nuddy Bar & Grill, 367 Main St. Thanks to some generous donors, the first round is free! Please RSVP with Nora at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 845-454-5176 x119.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year from Lindsay, Elizabeth and the entire Middle Main team at Hudson River Housing!