The numerous action plans of Project VISION cover a number of different topics. Here is a compilation of some of the key concepts behind our action steps, complemented by a short description and helpful resource links for you to learn more!
A central focus of Project VISION is to create an environment where local neighborhoods are empowered to pull together and strive to improve their community. Underpinning this focus is the belief that within each neighborhood, there are the community champions and builders necessary to address the needs and dynamics of their neighborhood. We know that it can be hard for community members to step up and become champions for their neighborhoods, so here are a few helpful resources to learn more about and help guide interested community members. And, of course, we encourage you to become more closely involved in Project VISION – your contributions are wholeheartedly welcomed.
In the words of Chief Kilcullen at a Community Policing Subcommittee meeting, “procedural justice is the basis of everything we do [in the Police Department].” It’s clear that procedural justice is a concept that the Rutland City Police Department is committed to effectively integrate into their daily operations. In summary, procedural justice is a theory which guides police interaction, supported by the four pillars of voice, respect, neutrality, and trustworthiness. The end goal of procedural justice is none other than to ensure that the police department is a trusted and an integral part of the community – that any pre-existing barriers between the police department and the public are broken down. Since procedural justice is a comprehensive guiding principle for the Rutland City Police Department, it’s important for the public to be aware of the concept. Below are some helpful and trusted links to learn more about procedural justice!
Why is it important to remove or repurpose blighted and decaying structures? What’s the connection between community gathering sites, like municipal parks, and crime reduction? In short, crime prevention through environmental design is based on the idea that the design of our physical environment influences behavior. With this in mind, this approach suggests that the proper management style and design of natural and built environments can reduce criminal activity. An example of this at work in Rutland is the replacement of a blighted building with the new Baxter Street Park, a highly visible location for community members to gather and enjoy their neighborhood. Below are some resources to learn more about this theory of crime prevention.
A frequent topic of discussion among Project VISION’s law enforcement partners is how to best implement the six pillars detailed in the 2015 report of the Task Force. Of these six pillars, the four pillars most relevant to PV committee discussions are Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, and Community Policing and Crime Reduction. Below are two resources to learn more about the task force and report. If you are interested in learning more about how the Rutland City Police Department is actively implementing these pillars, contact the co-chairs of Project VISION’s Community Building and Neighborhood Engagement Committee to inquire about joining the committee and subcommittee meetings.
One of the four subcommittees of Project VISION’s Health Committee is the Homelessness Prevention Subcommittee. This structure both reflects and strengthens Project VISION’s recognition that in order for Rutland to comprehensively support its community and public health, basic physical necessities must be met. This includes the view that housing is healthcare, meaning that adequate housing enables individuals to better access the health services and support programs that are available to them.
The greater Rutland area is a politically diverse place. A core tenet to Project VISION is its staunchly non-partisan position. We strive to ensure that every action and position we take is for the benefit of the Rutland community and that it does not favor any political orientation. This is an active effort, but it is not a difficult one. A key element to building and improving our community is engaging in critical conversations about who we are and who we want to be as a community. In a politically diverse environment, it’s essential that we abide by and actively encourage civil discourse throughout the greater Rutland area as a framework to facilitate the conversations necessary to improve our community. Civil discourse, or holding better conversations with each other, doesn’t mean that we all pretend to not have positions on issues, but that despite a diversity of views we are able to hold a conversation and thoughtfully listen to each other. In the end, civil discourse, as well as a healthy community in general, is based upon mutual understanding, respect, and a willingness to learn.
In the fall of 2020, a number of VISION partners collaborated to construct nine units of transitional housing in Rutland. This form of shelter is an essential component in the efforts of organizations in the greater Rutland area to reduce homelessness and housing insecurity in our community. However, what is transitional housing? As the term suggests, it is a form of temporary housing meant to provide a reliable residence for individuals and families transitioning into stable housing. A key characteristic of transitional housing units is the support systems provided to residences, such as the Rutland’s unit on-site resident manager who helps connect residents to supportive and needed services. All together, transitional housing units provide structure, supervision, and support for residents with the aim of bridging the gap between homelessness and permanent housing.