The Partnership. The Historic Kenwood Partnership is a partnership of Historic Kenwood volunteers, the City of St. Petersburg’s Neighborhood (N) Team, the Historic Kenwood Garden Workshop and other community partners. This Partnership helps neighbors maintain their property’s exterior through painting, yard cleanup and beautification making their houses and yard more appealing and safer. Since the Partnership’s creation in 2014, several dozen properties have been enhanced, making this a form of neighborhood preservation and beautification, In recognition of the Partnership’s efforts, the national Neighborhood USA organization awarded the first place in the Physical Revitalization category of the 2016 Neighborhood of the Year competition to the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association.
Homeowners. The homeowners who receive help typically face challenges keeping up their house and yard because of age, health conditions, financial constraints or all of these. Some owners request help directly from the Partnership; others are recommended for help by neighbors, friends, or the City’s Code Enforcement unit. In all cases, homeowners agree to the kinds of help received and their privacy is respected.
You can request help for yourself or a Kenwood neighbor or friend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers. You don’t have to be a professional handyperson to volunteer but those with skills are certainly welcome. Projects take two to three hours one Saturday a month except for summer and December. The rewards include the satisfaction of helping deserving and grateful neighbors, building relationships with a terrific group of volunteers and knowing you are helping revitalize and strengthen our neighborhood’s appearance and spirit household by household and block by block.
Why Should I Volunteer? Why should anyone get involved in the Historic Kenwood Partnership to help neighbors improve their yards or paint their houses? Members of the 2018 Partnership’s Steering Committee gave these reasons:
Farhan Malik: I got interested in the Partnership to keep meeting and interacting with neighbors. In between painting or mowing I connect with others willing to help neighbors on a Saturday morning. Those volunteers leave me awestruck with their compassion and friendliness. I like sharing donuts, coffee, and conversation with them. I also look forward to interacting with the recipient of the project because they are genuinely grateful. It is humbling. Finally, a project’s before and after really pushes me to improve our own home.
La Auna Lewis: My three-year involvement with HKP enabled sharing knowledge, skill, and the commitment for making positive differences in another’s life. This is especially true for people facing overwhelming property shortcomings and people frustrated by lacking the physical or financial resources to even begin these corrections. I feel like someone they see as showing I care enough to offer a hand.
Tom Lancraft: I have always enjoyed working in the yard and building/fixing things around the house. I have also enjoyed helping other people. But, with my busy career I had little time to help. Now retired, I have time to pursue my interests. Meeting new people, working with good people and doing good all come together in the HK Partnership and the HK Garden Workshop.
Jim Garnett: Much of my career I valued the efforts of students who helped other people in over 50 countries. Now it’s my turn for hands-on help to neighbors in need. This I find immensely gratifying as are the relationships made with the homeowners helped and with other volunteers. The bonds made working together for a common purpose are stronger than purely social ones. There is an esprit de corps about the group since we are helping improve the vitality, safety, and aesthetics of Kenwood.
Michelene Everett: I wholeheartedly believe that you are blessed to become a blessing for others. None of us is exempt from financial hardship, sickness, disability or just growing old. As a community, we are all in this together. We will share the same success or failure as our fellow neighbor so we must always strive to lift each other up and work together.
Neighborhood (N) Team. The N-Team is part of the City of St. Petersburg’s Department of Neighborhood Affairs. This professional staff provides expertise and equipment for our Partnership projects and provides substantial direct assistance for resident homeowners who qualify. For more information see www.stpete.org/community/nteam.php