Swella’s Ville Values: Community

Swella’s Ville is on a mission to bring enduring values to our neighborhood:

  • Swella’s Ville Value 1: Community
  • Swella’s Ville Value 2: Pride in Family
  • Swella’s Ville Value 3: Neighborly Living
  • Swella’s Ville Value 4: Personal Dignity/Integrity
  • Swella’s Ville Value 5: Humility/Grace

This month, we are focusing on the value of Community.

Now, more than ever, our community needs to come together. We need to lend a helping hand to our neighbors if we see a need. We need to work purposefully to bring change to our streets. We need to remind ourselves that there is a legacy of pride and honor passed down to us by past generations of families who moved to South Bend for the opportunities that this community afforded them, and that the opportunities are growing in our community.

The city of South Bend is focusing on neighborhood improvement in 2019 and now is the time to make our voices heard, and to get involved in shaping what those improvements look like. That’s community—involvement, working together, speaking up.

Our community belongs to us. We are the ones who decide how our community works, what we value, and what our vision for the future can be. As a supporter of Swella’s Ville, this month we challenge you to make Community a priority. Here are some ideas for how to do this:

  • Volunteer. South Bend has more non-profit organizations than any other community in the state (including Marion County) and there are many opportunities to join the cause that speaks to you most, and to make a difference in this community. What do YOU see that needs to change? There is probably an organization that works to solve that issue already. Let us know that you’d like to volunteer with Swella’s Ville if you’re passionate about the people and businesses on Lincoln Way West, Huey Street, and Olive Street.
  • Get active. Pay attention to what’s happening in our community. If you think something should change, take action. Make sure to attend community meetings and see what you can do to voice your opinions and be heard.
  • Speak to our Council representatives. On the west side, Common Council president Tim Scott is also our representative for District 1, and Regina Williams Preston is our representative for District 2.
    Here’s a link to the Council’s web page: https://southbendin.gov/department/common-council/
Volunteers at the 2019 Lincoln Way West Beautification Project.

We believe at Swella’s Ville that we can rise with hard work, and with the guidance of our elders. We believe that a community should actively support the dreams and visions of its members and work together with our leaders to provide the resources to make those dreams and visions come to life.

At Swella’s Ville, we want to make this a possibility by coming together as a community, by working together to move our vision forward so that it ultimately surpasses our dreams for what the Lincoln Way West Corridor could look like, and becomes greater than we could have imagined. Swella’s Ville projects will make it the number one priority to invest in our community so that it is a better place, a special place, for our children and future generations. We promise to keep you informed as we work. We’ll provide you with updates when we attend Council meetings, we’ll let you know when there are opportunities to speak up or to volunteer.

No matter who you are, you can take pride in being a member of our community, because we care about all of our neighbors. At Swella’s Ville, we work hard to bring opportunity and resources to our community. Our P.O.W.E.R. mission statement reminds us that opportunity comes from economic advancement and from educating our community members to be good stewards of the resources we have as a community. We’ll share more as we take action to create new resources and to provide new opportunities to our community members. So, keep following us. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We all need to work together to make South Bend truly shine.

July Newsletter: Goals and Plans for Swella’s Ville

What are we up to at Swella’s Ville? We’re creating a movement and we need you to get involved.

Here’s what we’re working on:

We’re putting together an Executive Board that will steer the vision of Swella’s Ville, and give direction to putting our mission statement into action. The board will be made up of community leaders who have a heart for our community and want to see all members of our community thrive.

Our Mission Statement: P.O.W.E.R. Power stands for: Purposeful Opportunities Working Economic Revitalization. We are actively working on restoring, revitalizing, and renewing our community by raising the quality of life for all. 

How will we improve quality of life? It starts with a plan. We’d like to share the Swella’s Ville multi-phase vision with you, as this is what we’ll be working to achieve in the coming years. 

Phase 1: Creating a Movement, the Lincoln Way West Corridor Beautification Project. We started the LWW Corridor Beautification Project as a neighborhood initiative in 2010 to encourage residents and business owners to work together to restore, revitalize and renew our community along the Lincolnway West Corridor, from Olive Street to Martin Luther King Drive. In the last 10 years, we have removed over 11 tons of trash and yard waste from our streets with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

As Swella’s Ville works to expand now, we have huge plans for the 2020 10th Annual Lincoln Way West Corridor Beautification Project. This event will not only be a cleanup day, but a celebration of our community. We hope all Swella’s Ville supporters will get into the spirit of our mission and join us to raise the standards of beauty and neighborly living on our streets. As our plans come together, we’ll be asking for volunteers, donations, and sponsors. We’ll keep you posted!

Phase 2: A New Huey Street Project—Raising Rental Housing Standards
While we haven’t officially launched this phase of the Swella’s Ville vision, we have already purchased 6 homes as part of a plan to rehab homes in our neighborhood with higher quality amenities and better curb appeal with landscaping and maintenance. 

Our Swella’s Ville Association Corp. will also work in this phase to set housing standards for the neighborhood, and to provide resources for renters and landlords. We will work on public safety and volunteerism. And, we’ll work to create gathering places like parks and gardens for the children in our community.

Phase 3:  Building Oneness, Community and Partnerships 

In this phase, we plan to organize neighborhood meetings, parties, and clean-ups. We’ll work to publish community newsletters 

We want to start two resources called Landlord University and Tenant University that teaches our community members how to be good stewards and helps them to develop the skills they need to properly maintain their properties and take pride in their community. We’ll work on a program called Kids Play that will teach life skills and take advantage of our parks. And we’ll begin a Business University for those in our community who want to be entrepreneurs and need to learn the basics of running a business. 

This is just the first half of the Swella’s Ville vision, and we’ll share more in the future. We want our community to know that we’re working hard to bring these plans to life. We’ll work to give you updates on progress, and we’ll be asking for help. Think about how you can support the Lincoln Way West Corridor neighborhood. There will be an opportunity for you to share your skills with us as we grow and make our community the special place that we know it can be!