For the past several years Community Building Specialist Stephen-Cremin Endes has been working with The Promise Land Initiative, a collaboration of churches and faith-based organizations in Newhallville led by Pastor Donald Morris. In 2012 they were approached by Chaplain Alan Kendrix with an idea for using street lighting to improve safety. Chaplain Alan, a lay member of the Church of the Redeemer in New Haven, had been part of a successful residential lighting program that lit up Hartford’s North End and reduced street crime. Chaplain Alan, Pastor Morris, and the Promise Land Initiative, worked together to bring about the installation 10 LED lights by the City of New Haven on Lilac Street, the darkest street in the neighborhood. This effort was very well received by residents, giving them a tangible sign that the neighborhood is improving and encouraging neighbors to get out at night for a stroll and to connect with each other. Because of this response, the City of New Haven installed an additional 240 lights by the end of 2013. NHS of New Haven’s VISTA members played a key role in this outcome by compiling an exhaustive survey of the existing conditions of street lamp posts and wattage levels on this block. The survey data presented a compelling case for the need for more lighting and offered a model for how community members can systematically survey their entire neighborhood in pursuit of a shared goal. This lighting effort, along with many other projects, has helped to reduce both the perception and the reality of crime in neighborhoods like Newhallville.
NHS of New Haven is a strong proponent of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, which are reflected in projects such as the lighting initiative.
New Haven Register- New Haven News (2012): Community group aims to shed some light on New Haven violence