What is Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal in Windsor?
Located in Windsor, Ford City is a community in originally founded by the Ford Motor Company in the early 1900s as a separate company town where Ford owned and operated a large manufacturing plant at the corner of Riverside Drive and Drouillard Place. Ford City’s downtown main street was Drouillard Avenue, named after François Drouillard (an early settler who owned a farm along the general location of the street, which evolved from a private path on his property). The last remaining building of Ford is the engine plant.
Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal (FCNR) Windsor is a place-based neighbourhood engagement strategy funded by the United Way. Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal Windsor staff facilitate connections in the community between residents, business owners, organizations, churches, the city, community members and the larger community. It is through these connections that the community develops community-driven solutions and methods to create positive neighbourhood change.
When we first started JM Security Canada, we met with local security experts and leaders, and after dozens of these meetings, we were continually pointed in the direction of Windsor’s ‘Renewal Groups’ – an initiative of the United Way Centraide Windsor-Essex. United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex supports thousands of individuals in the Windsor community and is committed to those in need. From April 2015 until March 2020, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex has invested in 32 different programs across Windsor-Essex to help improve quality of life. With a focus area in Strong Communities, and a strategy tailored around Neighbourhood Engagement, four neighbourhood renewals were funded. These renewal groups are working to revitalize these neighbours and instill a sense of community in these environments for both residents and business owners.
The United Way Neighbourhood Engagement strategy aims to get residents involved in their community to make it safer and stronger. Over the last four years, the strategy has engaged residents in four core city neighbourhoods. Residents have built stronger partnerships with Windsor Police, advocated to Windsor City Council for new investments in alley lighting, vacant building enforcement, a substance abuse outreach worker, and increased funding for affordability programs like city bus passes and the bulk item pick up program. Cleanups, safety audits, and mural projects have also helped to improve the appearance of these priority areas and build neighbourhood pride.
The corner of Drouillard Place and Richmond Street in Ford City, Windsor had several issues that required ‘eyes in the sky’. The Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal identified the area, and in conversations with local businesses businesses and the Church nearby came up with a solution to address the growing challenges. Through our conversations with Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal, we learned more about the organization, and align with their goal of revitalizing these neighbourhoods in Windsor and so we wanted to help.
The community purchased a security camera system for the corner and around St. John the Divine Orthodox Church and JM Security partnered with Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal to professionally install the cameras. These cameras were placed on the Church to cover the parkette across the road, the major intersection and a back alley.
I (Bethany Parr) was on-site to meet with Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal partners and document the day.
The team at JM Security Canada is pleased to contribute to making the community safer and we look forward to the positive changes the cameras will bring!