Letter: Ninth Street group looking to make difference

From: Lisa Pein


I would like to clarify some facts about the Ninth Street Area Neighborhood Watch Group. The recent tragic epidemic of heroin overdoses in our community over the past week has brought the Ninth Street Area Neighborhood Watch Group into the media’s attention. The Ninth Street Area Neighborhood Watch Group was formed as a result of a needs assessment done by the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center in 2013-14. The LCNFC conducts these needs assessments every three years for strategic planning purposes and to ensure that Lincoln-Central residents’ needs are being met.

Previously, there had been several watch groups in the Ninth Street area over the years, but none were active or holding regular meetings at the time our LCNFC group started. Neighbors voiced their concerns and expressed their desire for an active neighborhood watch group in the Ninth Street area.

Initiating this project and organizing this group was one of my first tasks as an employee of LCNFC. I also live in the boundaries of the Ninth Street Area Neighborhood Watch, so this was important to me as well. Another resident, Bert Held, was also passionate about a watch group in the area, so we began to work together to make this a reality.

Our first meeting was in September 2014. Though we had decent attendance, initially, our attendance numbers have continued to grow significantly. Bert and I plan and facilitate the neighborhood watch meetings on behalf of the LCNFC, but our group has no officially appointed leaders. We are all leaders in our efforts to improve the safety and quality of life for our neighborhood. 

The Ninth Street Area Neighborhood Watch is sponsored and supported by the LCNFC and works in partnership with the city of Columbus as well as the Columbus Police Department. We hold monthly meetings and address issues such as crime, code compliance and other quality-of-life issues. 

Upcoming meeting dates are April 21, May 16 and June 21. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and are held at Second Baptist Church. 

Bert and I, along with our neighbors, are looking to make a positive difference in our neighborhood. We have many beneficial programs that we are excited about bringing to our neighbors. Please feel free to join us.