Urban Kindness Looks to Small Steps to Build Neighborhood

(File photograph.)

Tilton School, 70 Grove St., Haverhill.

Part 2 of 2.


Urban Kindness’ Keith Boucher.

Haverhill’s Mount Washington Neighborhood is in the midst of a transformation, its boosters say.

Buoyed by a relatively new neighborhood association, Urban Kindness, and a nearly half a million-dollar grant from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, residents aren’t overlooking the smaller steps that must be taken. These include planting trees, according to leader Keith Boucher.

“Over the course of three years, I believe it’s like 800 trees to be planted in the Mount Washington area.”

Thanks to a grant, he explained, new trees will not just adorn public spaces, but private properties too. An arborist will soon visit residents, survey their properties, suggest tree locations and arrange for free plantings. Boucher said benefits include saving heat and energy.

Urban Kindness participants are also doing what they can to boost test scores at Tilton School. Boucher said volunteers are working with the school department to help students with reading and math, put away books in the library and make better use of Tilton’s grounds.

“We are working with the city to get some tables and some seating for the new playground they have there.”

Boucher said ideas will be developed in concert with the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization.

“I feel personally, if we can win the Tilton School, we can win Mount Washington.”

Besides Boucher and his wife Diane, Urban Kindness’ leadership team includes Angie Estevez, the new Mount Washington Alliance initiative director; Michelle Johnson; Pati Halloran Webber; Dan Webber; Lisa Bellis; Josh Bauer; Katrina Hobbs-Everett; Cat Duchesne; Nairoby Gabriel; and Carlos Reymon Gabriel.

Urban Kindness is hosting a joint meeting with the Mount Washington Alliance Thursday, Jan. 19, 6:30, at Rehoboth Lighthouse Full Gospel Church, 409 Washington St.

4 thoughts on “Urban Kindness Looks to Small Steps to Build Neighborhood

  1. I’m not sure why, but the original version of this story was edited. In it Mr. Boucher, you are quoted as saying that you moved to the Washington Street neighborhood just a couple of years ago from Salem, NH, and moved into a home notorious for drug dealing. You said for a couple of years people were still coming to your front door looking to buy drugs. You also stated that you didn’t understand why people in the neighborhood were not “out on the streets getting to know each other”.

    Mr. Boucher, let me start by saying your efforts are admirable and you personally should be congratulated. What you’re experiencing is a neighborhood saturated and engulfed in out of control liberalism and an ethnic community refusing to accept individual responsibility. Just exactly who are your neighbors? Single family mothers living on state assistance? Drug dealers? Criminal trespassers in this county illegally? Gang members? Second, maybe third generation Hispanic individuals who have intentionally refused to assimilate to societal mores, even going so far as refusing to perfect the English language? The amount of money thrown at your neighborhood over the years is staggering, yet nothing has changed. Why is that? It’s because no one in your community is telling the truth. Planting trees isn’t going to do anything except to continue to mask the problem. Telling teenage girls not to have multiple babies when they’re 17 and 18 would help, but none of you are willing to tell the truth and do that. Holding fathers accountable for the children they bring into the world would help, but none of you are willing to do that. Treating juvenile drug offenders seriously would help, but none of you are willing to pursue that. And most importantly, asking the State of Massachusetts to cut off the spicket of welfare that financially enables people to make poor life choices which perpetuates the cycle those in your neighborhood find themselves would be a major step to individual responsibility, but obviously you’d be run out of town for taking that position.

    Mr. Boucher, your neighborhood is a victim to an incompetent liberal mayor who has you all exactly where he wants you. He’ll preach all the “services” and “money” the city provides and make personal appearances when there are gang shootings at Little League games, but nothing has ever changed in your neighborhood since he’s been mayor, has it? Please don’t encourage people, especially young girls and women, to be out in your neighborhood streets. The mayor has turned the City of Haverhill into a sanctuary city for drug dealers, rapists and criminal trespassers in this country illegally….it is a VERY dangerous place, especially in your neighborhood. No one should be out on any city streets alone and, if an adult, certainly unarmed. The crime statistics prove how dangerous the city has become under this mayor.