West Side Promise Neighborhood (WSPN) is a consortium of community organizations and members collaborating to improve leadership capacity, community involvement with schools, and youth outcomes on the West Side of Buffalo, NY. The WSPN extends from Hertel Avenue (north) to City Hall (south) and Niagara Street (west) to Richmond Avenue (east).
Buffalo’s West Side is a place where children struggle every day to overcome incredible challenges. These young people have a variety of skills, knowledge and personal characteristics, not the least of which is perseverance, that go untapped every day. However, it is not due to a lack of effort. There are many organizations and individuals in the community, who are dedicated to helping those children and have significantly impacted the lives of many children; however, all these efforts have failed when it comes to addressing systemic underlying problems. The West Side is still a place dominated by high unemployment, poverty, crime, and health risks and low performing schools.
The WSPN Project is developing a grass-roots community action plan that will be comprehensively executed in a manner respectful of neighborhood needs, cultural diversity, and stakeholder roles which will create a cradle – to – career environment built for the success and achievement of the children and families living on Buffalo’s West Side. The West Side Promise Neighborhood Project’s theory of action is informed by principles that researchers have found to work. Specifically, the organization of the West Side Promise Neighborhood already has the commitment of key stakeholders to create a community of practice to create a continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions that are linked and integrated seamlessly. All the work will build on the current programming, services and systems that the partners are currently providing, identifying and sharing best practices while conducting a needs assessment that will identify any gaps in the support.