I think that this is a key turning point that the PACE process has not yet fine-tuned and will be unique to each community and coordinator in terms of how they handle their involvement in continuing to be involved in their communities when the seed money is gone. It is crucial that there is a commitment to continue to be a presence in the PACE community that has been selected, even after the money is gone. If this commitment is not made, there is a risk to the community, and the agency involved (health dept.), of falling back into the cycle of government addressing a communitys concerns, identifying issues, but then doing little to assist them.
I spent a lot of time in March making sure we stayed connected. I met with twenty families that have been selected by the World Changers organization to have external repairs to their homes and helped them with the application process. I arranged meetings between the World Changers executives and participated in the meetings so that the residents would be at ease with understanding this wonderful opportunity that has been presented to them. I also worked on coordinating demolishing three houses which I anticipate to be demolished in April.
Mid-March was full of excitement about the water project, due to the fact that the collaborative efforts of the Wabasso community, County Commissioners, Utility Dept., and the Indian River Health Department have been successful in acquiring ninety-five percent of the easements needed to proceed with the project. The Utilities department applied for $825,000 in funding for the project, which has already been designed. There was a problematic area of the project that lacked legal access which would hinder the ability to supply the owners with potable water; however, as luck has it, a developer submitted plans regarding a nearby land parcel which Jim Davis, Public Works Director, is requiring this developer to run a water line at a distance where the Wabasso resident can access it! This is an excellent example of how agencies and communities can work together to solve issues and really make a difference in a community.
March 7th was the monthly community meeting which was held successfully by the West Wabasso Civic Progressive League. On March 28th, I conducted a steering committee meeting upon request of the community to brief them on the progress and to have discussions regarding the community. I continue to attend and actively participate in these monthly meetings as I believe it is crucial to continue to show our commitment and involvement in ensuring this community stays motivated and empowered to solve their issues. By utilizing the PACE process, we have demonstrated improving the quality of life for the residents of Wabasso is possible, and now we must prove to them we will support them in making their plans a reality.
Past Indian River County Updates
The following files are provided in the Adobe Acrobat pdf format. Files over 100 kb in size that may take longer to download and view, have their file size listed.
May 1, 2005 - Water System on its way to Wabasso
December 25, 2004 - Woman's work aids west Wabasso residents
October 18, 2004 - Storms stall Wabasso help
September, 2004 - PACE Progress Report for the Wabasso Environmental Assessment (620 kb) (From the Florida Journal of Environmental Health)
September 28, 2004 - Storms run Wabasso family out of own, borrowed homes
August 28, 2004 - Families get new homes
August 11, 2004 - Draft Brochure, Bringing Basic Needs to a Forgotten Community (1.4 meg file)
July 30, 2004 - Kindness rules in Wabasso (109 kb)
July 28, 2004 - Teens team up to build man's house
June 2, 2004 - Indian River seeks aid for water
May 26, 2004 - Groups enlist residents to help revive Wabasso
May 11, 2004 - Wabasso may have to wait a year for street lights to come on
May 9, 2004 - Town hall meeting to address Wabasso's needs