July 19th Brown Bag Forum - Exploring the Relationship between Vacancy, Crime, and Lead Exposure in Cleveland
L to R: April Urban, Ayonna Donald, Duane Deskins, Rev. Tony Minor, Judge Ronald O'Leary
Overview In Cleveland pockets, of vacancy and disinvestment in housing still dot the landscape. How does the reality of this physical space impact the fabric of the community and the residents remaining? Using the 2015 community wide vacancy and condition survey from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, researchers at Case Western Reserve University examine spatial patterns of vacancy, crime, and children's exposure to lead, finding that hot spots of vacancy are also hot spots of violent crime and lead exposure. In this community forum, April Urban, research associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, will first describe the findings of the recent research. Ayonna Donald, Director of the City of Cleveland's Department of Building and Housing, will outline the department's role, including the rental registry and inspection program aimed at taking a preventative approach to children's exposure to lead. Duane Deskins, Chief of Prevention, Intervention, and Opportunity for Youth and Young Adults, will discuss new initiatives around violence prevention and the connection between violence and vacant property. Rev. Tony Minor, Director of Advocacy at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, will speak to his experiences working with individuals and neighborhoods throughout Cleveland on issues of violence. Cleveland Housing Court Judge Ron O'Leary will moderate the panel. Please note, this forum aims to discuss community trends and policy. Individual cases or issues are not appropriate for this forum.
Panelists April Urban, Researcher at Case Western Reserve University Ayonna Donald, Interim Director of Building & Housing for the City of Cleveland Duane Deskins, Chief of of Prevention, Intervention and Opportunity for Youth and Young Adults for the City of Cleveland Rev. Tony Minor, Director of Advocacy for Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries
Moderator Judge Ronald J.H. O'Leary, Cleveland Housing Court