Name: Luis D. Torres
Neighborhood Group: Southeast Lancaster City/South Duke Str Corridor (Elm Street Project) – Atlantic Avenue/North Street Neighborhood
Your work as one of the leaders in your Neighborhood Group is important because:
It allows me the unique, yet high level of responsibility of being an advocate of the youth and families that we serve to bring about lasting improvements to a community/neighborhood.
Challenges that you are facing in your neighborhood right now:
Poverty Abandoned Buildings Subpar housing conditions
Trash in Streets Poor lighting High Speed traffic (S Duke Street)
Alleys Dropout Rate Post-secondary Opportunity
Sidewalk safety Underused Open Space Lack of Public Art (CPTED)
Positive Youth Programming (we currently serve up 100 kids a night at The Mix at Arbor Place during the school year yet the need for more structured activities and program space are needed to accommodate the increasing number of school-aged youth in our extended neighborhood.)
What are some of the rewards from being a neighborhood connector in your Group:
Being able to advocate for a productive and strong linkages between the 3 P’s (Place, People, Partnerships).
Can you give a specific example of how your neighborhood has worked together?
- Hosting of several community discussions and events dealing with a variety of subjects – such as Community Policing, Trash Pick-up & sub-par housing conditions allowed by absentee landlords – The discussions have laid down the foundation for the implementation of an action plan.
- Able to represent South East Lancaster/South Duke Street Corridor efforts via the Elm Street Steering committee and assist with programming and sustainability efforts through a collaborative effort.
What is your secret to meeting new neighbors and welcoming them into the community?
Quite the opposite – I consider it a blessing and privilege to be able to interact with our neighbors – it is I that am being welcomed into a neighbor’s circle. If I pride myself in being an advocate, then I must listen to every concern that my neighbor shares with me. —- but on my part – to always be the same fun-loving person and to acknowledge every person’s unique story.
Favorite way to spend a day with family, or friends in Lancaster City:
If it involves laughter then I’m all in…
In Lancaster City I would have to say that I simply just enjoy interacting with people
- The Musser Park Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration is always a must
- My wife & I enjoy the plethora of local food & cultural restaurants – Sa La Thai, El Friquitin, La Costena, Grub n’ Stuff & Rachel’s Creperie among others.
- Driving around and trying to find the Dulce de Coco (coconut candy) guy is a game that my kids and I enjoy – the best sweet treat in Lancaster.
- Watching the Roberto Clemente Softball League’s annual “World Softball Classic” at Culliton Park.
- Checking out the happenings of The Mix at Arbor Place (National Night Out Block Party, Soccer, Basketball, Afterschool Programming, Tennis, etc)
- Checking out my favorite artists, Lourdes Torres-Shepard & Kathy Blouch, work on first Friday’s at Annex 24.
- And my family is always drawn to the shops of BUiLDiNG CHARACTER… We love that place!
- ending the day with coffee from Perkup Coffee Company