TNP Builds Better Warren at Its New Home
By Matt Martin, Executive Director
WARREN, Ohio — Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership has arrived – literally. After spending eight years building a better Warren out of several different offices, in 2018 we moved into our permanent home at 736 Mahoning Ave., just out of downtown and into Warren’s residential central city.
The property, one of over 50 vacant houses we helped transform into homes in Trumbull County in 2018, is now the home of TNP’s program office and a campus for all of our programming. A dozen program staffers work in the Moulton House, known to many residents for it’s former use as the Twin Maples Bed and Breakfast.
The house was vacant when we found it and it is now reactivated with life and activity – a symbol of our work and a home base for it. It is also a symbol of TNP’s long-term commitment to this community. We are here for the long haul.
In addition to the renovation of an abandoned historic property to house our management of the Trumbull County Land Bank, Garden Resources of Warren and Warren Enriched Programs, as well as our community organizing and outreach efforts, TNP also built a structure on the same property to house our jobs training program, Building A Better Warren.
We demolished a dilapidated vacant structure at the rear of the property – one of over 250 necessary demolitions completed in Trumbull County in 2018. TNP also repurposed a vacant lot – one of 150 land use projects in 2018 – to serve as a demonstration site for the repurposing of greenspace.
TNP’s work in the community is extensive.
Housing renovation and home ownership, demolition, land use, food access and the mitigation of the impact of food deserts, community organizing, public health, public art, neighborhood clean-ups, property rehabs, vacant land use, farmers markets and playgrounds, community organizing and activism, grass roots community and economic development – all of this is done from the ground up.
Now, we will do that work from a residential site that serves as a model of our approach and a symbol of our commitment.
That commitment would not be possible without our partners, particularly the Trumbull County Land Bank and the strategic partnership that TNP shares with The Raymond John Wean Foundation and the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., the city of Warren and countless others who offer support in the shared effort of strengthening our community.
We are called the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership for a reason. This work is best done with good partners of which we are blessed with many.
This summer, we worked with the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County and a group of local artists to host “Occupied Warren.” The temporary exhibition was staged a vacant, blighted house in the Garden District and included works of art created, installed, developed, revealed and performed by local artists exploring themes of blight, abandonment, vacancy and the revitalization process the city is undergoing.
The project was meant to challenge ideas of vacancy and expand the collective imagination of what is possible for our community in the midst of the challenges we face.
In many ways, the project itself was also symbolic of our larger work, as we seek to reoccupy space previously abandoned.
TNP will continue to pursue the home ownership and blight remediation that our neighborhoods deserve. We will continue to push for the increased access to healthy food and green space that our residents need. And we will continue to organize, activate and beautify Warren and Trumbull County. We will do this from a new home that we have occupied with a renewed sense of purpose, and most of all with a commitment to pushing our community to radically reimagine the very notion of what is possible.
Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.