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Community Development

Uptown Neighborhood

Uptown Neighborhood

We are proud to be the coordinating member of the RiseUPtown collaborative to improve safety and quality of life in the Uptown neighborhood of Harrisburg, since 2016. RiseUPtown’s vision is to enhance safety and wellbeing in the Uptown neighborhood with residents sharing in the success and improvement of their community.

RISEUP - Resilience Intervention for Social Empowerment in Under-served Places

The RISEUP program is a two-year initiative, done in cooperation with Penn State University and funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, to reduce crime and violence, by improving the mental and emotional health of the youth in Uptown Harrisburg, and by improving the physical environment of the neighborhood. 

The key outcomes targeted in this program are:
(1) reduced rates of property, violent, and drug-related crime,
(2) fewer youth arrests and police contacts,
(3) less truancy and absenteeism, fewer disciplinary referrals,
(4) reduced anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms in youth and parents.

Accomplishing this will require a multi-component approach - within Camp Curtin School, 6th-grade students will participate in the Building Strong Identity and Coping Skills (BaSICS) Program, a program designed to help youths process trauma and reframe their responses to stressful situations. In the neighborhood, a community-driven group will help clean and improve areas that have become an attraction for criminal activity, while also fostering collaboration between the school, the community, and law enforcement.

The two intervention components (school-based and community-driven) build upon each other and are designed to both eliminate drivers of crime and give youth (and parents) active ways to combat and prevent stress and trauma in their community. This highly innovative program promises to have a high and sustained positive impact in this community, and if successful, could serve as a model for many other such communities within and beyond Pennsylvania.

Cornerstone in Uptown Harrisburg

The Cornerstone in Uptown Harrisburg Initiative is a community improvement project undertaken by the staff and board of the Camp Curtin YMCA in collaboration with several partners.

The YMCA’s vision for the initiative is shaped by a desire to serve the community better. “When you look around our building, it’s hard not to take pride in all the changes we’ve made inside the doors,” Jamien said. “We have hundreds of kids at the YMCA in any given week, and we want to make the streets surrounding our building an extension of the safe-haven we’ve created inside.”

The initiative will begin by building single-family homeowner units on currently blighted, vacant land with the intent that sustainable and affordable housing programs will attract new tenants, families, and first-time owners.

My Block, My Uptown, My City

This is a block leader initiative made up of concerned citizens who are willing to take the extra step to connect neighbors and build community on their block—making their neighborhood a safer, more pleasant place to live.

To become a block leader and/or support these activities, please fill out the form below, or download and print the form to fill out.

Block Leaders must also petition their neighbors for their support as block leader. The petition form can be downloaded below.

Block Leaders are eligible to apply for a mini-grant to improve the conditions and community on their block - for more information, download the Mini-Grant Form below.

First Name *
Last Name *
Address Line 1 *
City *
State/Province *
Postal Code *
Languages you speak (select all that apply)
Do you need a translator for English?
Are you over 18?
Are you interested in being the main contact for all block leaders?