Residents Lead the Way

NJHI 2018: Upstream Action Acceleration Accelerating Community Safety

As we build a Culture of Health in Paterson we know that improving community safety is key to improving health outcomes.  It is one of key focus areas in our Building a Culture of Health: Blueprint for Action which is our community’s strategic plan to address the social determinants in Paterson and the surrounding municipalities.  Crime in Paterson is considered one of the highest among the communities in the United States. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an evidence-based strategy utilized to prevent crime in public streets as it improves conditions and influences behavior before a crime occurs.

Cross-sector collaboration is essential to our work to improve community safety.  Our lead partners include: Paterson residents, The City of Paterson, Paterson Habitat for Humanity, and Rebuilding Together North Jersey.  Councilwoman Ruby Cotton and residents have led the efforts to improve local streets, parks, address crime hotspots, and improve community engagement.  The CPTED team continues to expand and more community members are participating in improving neighborhood safety. 


Hall of Shame: The CPTED team identified several properties that were considered nuisances over the next few years. The team will work with the City of Paterson to remediate these sites. 

Street Lighting: The CPTED team helped installed solar-powered motion sensor lights to help prevent crimes and empower the neighborhoods. The lights help to identify the properties via reflective house numbers.

Street and Park Clean-ups: The Montgomery Park clean-up is one example of the many clean-up events CPTED performed during the past year.

Quantifying CPTED Efforts in 2019:

  • 379 Volunteers engaged
  • 1,105.5 hours of work
  • 24 Clean-ups completed
  • 56 Houses had lights installed
  • 54 houses had reflective numbers installed

For more information about CPTED please contact Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, City of Paterson: or Steve Kehayes, Community Development Officer, Paterson Habitat for Humanity:

For more information about the Building a Culture of Health: Blueprint for Action in Passaic County please contact Mary Celis, Director of Health Initiatives, United Way of Passaic County: or visit our Facebook page:  @PassaicFood.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Stephanie Parada
Paterson Habitat for Humanity