A Letter from Our CEO

Healthy neighborhoods make a healthier city. Blighted homes and buildings destroy neighborhoods and breed social ills such as increased crime rates, the diminution of economic opportunities, unsafe public spaces, and increased drug problems. This destabilizer could not be a more significant hex on the City of Syracuse where there are over 1,200 vacant properties. The New York Times reported that neighborhoods become “poverty traps” because they become associated with a common perception of the way people in a community act and think (Patricia Cohen, ‘Culture of Poverty’ Makes a Comeback, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2010).

In order to remedy this problem, serious attention must be given to the urban-core neighborhood which makes up a city in order to stabilize these neighborhoods, spur economic development and reduce job loss. According to Harvard economist Edward L. Gleaser, alternative solutions to remedy these problems often come from ventures of smart entrepreneurs who have discovered ways to help their cities thrive and increase their population. The non-profit group Empire State Future recommends focused development and growth efforts around Syracuse’s existing strengths—its educated work force and existing infrastructure and housing stock.

The strong Jesuit tradition of public service taught at Le Moyne College is an encouragement to make Syracuse a better place for all Central New Yorkers. Former College President Father Beirne was dedicated to making Le Moyne a better place for students through developing the City of Syracuse into a stronger, cleaner community. On September 10, 2005, the late Father Beirne wrote in the Post-Standard that we need to “look at ways we can be even more responsive to our community.” Following his words and wisdom, Responsive to Our Community (ROC) was formed.

Find information on New York State charities by calling the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-771-7755 or visit www.CharitiesNYS.com.


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