420 Parade Street Erie Pa 16507 | 814 456-7062
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June 2017

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Our Mission

HIstory & Mission

 

The Mission of B.E.S.T. is to improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents and assure a stable, desirable working environment for businesses and their employees. Our central themes have been to organize the community to build a positive neighborhood image, increase neighborhood pride and beautify the neighborhood. We also strive to promote home ownership, improve communication and serve in a coordination and cooperation role with local government. We work with many partners in the community  to improve safety, build stability and foster a sense of community.

Our Vision

It is our Vision that the East Bayfront will become a neighborhood with good quality of life, housing and businesses. To accomplish this, we will work as a neighborhood: Landlords will be involved in the community organization, we will provide neighborhood-based, nonprofit housing development and we will serve as a central information resource on housing and development. B.E.S.T. will serve as a place where community partners and volunteers will use their talents and skills to help improve quality of life throughout the neighborhood.

 

B.E.S.T.'s staff and board of directors are proud of all that has been accomplished and see the many additional areas for improvement in the neighborhood as we strive to follow our mission and accomplish our vision.

Our History

Beginning in the early 1990's, Erie's East Bayfront neighborhood has seen slow and steady improvements through the efforts of the East Bayfront Neighborhood Watch, a grassroots, all-volunteer organization of residents committed to curtailing urban blight and creating a more vibrant, dynamic neighborhood attractive to new homeowners.

 

Although their efforts are noteworthy, the overall movement to revitalize the East Bayfront neighborhood was slowed by the volunteer status of the Watch group. In mid-1998, the group's corporate partners, led by Erie Insurance Group and UPMC Hamot, began to revitalize the Bayfront East Side Taskforce (B.E.S.T.), once active in the mid-1970's, to serve as a catalyst for the Watch group's efforts. B.E.S.T. hired a full-time executive director in the late 2000's and obtained a formal 501c3 status.

 

Over the past ten years, B.E.S.T. has worked hard to bring improvements to the East Bayfront neighborhood. Some of these accomplishments include:

  • Development of over twenty new homes for low to moderate income first-time homeowners
  • Organization of neighborhood clean-ups, park beautification and volunteer efforts
  • Coordination and support of the East Bayfront Neighborhood Watch
  • Grants for home improvements and facade beautification to homeowners
  • Development of a commercial space, which includes the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to residents and employers
  • Creation of safe, affordable rental property for those not ready for home-ownership.
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