Safety and Community: Neighborhood Watch for your Sunnyside block

Form a Neighborhood Watch Group on your Sunnyside block

By James McCormick, Brian Marabello, and Tracey McCormick

What is a Neighborhood Watch Group? Why does my block need one? How can I set one up and use it to help my neighbors?

A Neighborhood Watch Group (NWG) is a a group of residents who have formally organized to work on making their block not only safer and better prepared for emergencies, but also more connected and sociable, too. NWGs may include a single block or a larger area, such as side streets and adjoining blocks. NWGs are a part of the Neighborhood Watch Program managed by SF SAFE — a non-profit that’s been focused on crime prevention and public safety for San Francisco neighborhoods since 1976. Currently, SF SAFE supports over 1,800 active NWGs.

Some of the benefits that an NWG offers to your block, beyond crime deterrence and emergency preparedness, include opportunities to meet and get to know your neighbors, or to forge stronger connections with those you already do know. A NWG is also an opportunity to welcome new neighbors and to introduce them to other neighbors on your block. Additionally, information voluntarily provided to a NWG will allow you and your neighbors to communicate more effectively about issues and news that affects everyone on your block, such as reporting a car burglary, damage to property, or to inquire about a neighbor’s well-being. Recently, having a Sunnyside NWG enabled a neighbor to report to another neighbor that their light well drain was clogged and flooding. In another instance, a neighbor alerted their neighbor that their car had a flat tire.

NWGs also provide a mechanism for block problem-solving, such as sharing concerns or requests for improvements on your block, which serves to coordinate your ideas and work more effectively with city departments to address issues and find solutions, e.g. adding a stop sign or speed humps, improving lighting, coordinating storm drain patrols, or making requests for restricted parking. Moreover, you and your neighbors will be more prepared — and able to help each other — in the event of emergencies, such as long power outages or something more serious like an earthquake. A NWG will help you communicate in such situations, and check in on each other to offer or ask for help.

And, of course, neighbors value and appreciate most the fact that NWG signs alert potential wrongdoers that the neighbors are connected and watching out for each other and their property.

Continue reading “Safety and Community: Neighborhood Watch for your Sunnyside block”

Slow Hearst Kick-off Event on Aug 28

Meet your neighbors and enjoy Sunnyside’s new Slow Street on Hearst Avenue. Saturday August 28, 2021, from 1 to 5 PM. Between Congo and Foerster streets.

Activities for kids, bikes, food, music and fun! Games with prizes at 2 PM. Big Wheels parade–Meet at Ridgewood at 3 PM.

Slow Hearst Kick-off event on Sat August 28, 2021, 1-5 PM.
Slow Hearst Kick-off event on Sat August 28, 2021, 1-5 PM.

Download the PDF flyer here.

Request a window sign here.

Sponsored by Slow Hearst

Monterey Blvd. Fire Aftermath: A neighborhood comes together for the survivors

An update on the local efforts to help the survivors of the Monterey Blvd fire on June 7th, from Katherine Carlin.

This tragedy brought Sunnyside together in a truly beautiful way. Residents raised over $20,000 in monetary compensation for the displaced families and for the funeral expenses of Yolanda Milton. Other good news is that the building is scheduled to be repaired starting next week, and we have hope that our neighbors will come home after those repairs are done. This is so important because there are children who belong at Sunnyside Elementary when classes return in person in the fall!

I am new to Sunnyside, having moved here from San Mateo in October of 2019. Because Roel and I live next door to the fire (and because I started my career as a community organizer) it felt completely natural to rally everyone in the neighborhood to help. What we didn’t foresee—what really surprised and even overwhelmed us—was the magnitude of people’s kindness and generosity.

When we opened our garage door to accept donations of children’s clothing, gift cards, and cash, we didn’t expect that two hours later, we’d be sorting through and divvying up close to six thousand dollars in cash and gift cards. People came to offer words of comfort, and people from different income levels gave whatever they could. Sunnyside is not a snooty place in San Francisco, it is diverse and it is grounded, and now I can say with authority that the people here look out for and take care of each other.

So much good has come from this tragedy. The five victims themselves have expressed to me, over and over again, that the outpouring of love, support, and financial assistance made them feel less afraid, more held, and safer through a very scary and threatening experience. On a personal level, it’s made me appreciate the heart and spirit of this community. I feel like this is home for us now, and I want to thank everyone who contributed in any way to this effort.

If you loved the feeling of contributing as a community, please stay abreast of the work of Perla Villa for The Sunnyside Community Pantry (find it on Facebook). She not only organized her group to donate significant resources to the fire victims, she’s working to feed families in this neighborhood every day.

–Katherine Carlin

Thank yous posted on the wall, after the June 7th fire Monterey Blvd at Detroit. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association
Thank yous posted on the wall, after the June 7th fire Monterey Blvd at Detroit. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association
Continue reading “Monterey Blvd. Fire Aftermath: A neighborhood comes together for the survivors”

Monday’s Big Fire on Monterey — and How You Can Help

On Monday, a fire broke out at 407 Monterey Blvd, resulting in the death of one of the residents. The other residents in the multi-unit building have been displaced, and need assistance. Read the Chronicle’s report on (no paywall). A local resident recorded a video (click on image below).

Next-door neighbor Katie Carlin has generously taken up the task of helping the displaced tenants of the building. You can help. Read below for how:

From Katie:

Friends and neighbors, that horrible fire Monday took the life of one of our neighbors and displaced at least two other families. Thank you to the incredible SFFD for stopping the fire before it spread beyond the unit destroyed — this was no small feat with the winds that were whipping through here yesterday. There are young children and parents impacted by this, displaced from their homes. No one is allowed in the building because of the damage, and smoke has wrecked a lot of personal property. Residents have been offered 2 nights in a hotel in Daly City, care of the Red Cross, but no word on if or when they will be allowed back in the building. They need clothing, and also money.

Continue reading “Monday’s Big Fire on Monterey — and How You Can Help”

The spirit of sharing: Local food pantry on Flood Avenue

Sunnysider Perla Villa has started a small food pantry at the corner of Flood and Detroit–along with items like books for children–to help anyone in need. Perla does food rescue as her job but often has leftovers that she shares with neighbors.

Her friend Suna Mullins says: “Perla’s grandmother did a lot of volunteering with food pantries and food distribution. Perla grew up in her grandma’s house, raised her kids in it, and now it is nice to see she is carrying on the same generosity her grandmother had. I know all this because we’ve been friends and neighbors since elementary school.”

Continue reading “The spirit of sharing: Local food pantry on Flood Avenue”