Seth Brown & NeighborWorks: A Perfect Pair
For Seth Brown, the city's Director of Crime Prevention, serving on the NeighborWorks Columbus Board of Directors has been only too fitting.
"I never realized that a lot of what they do correlates to what we (the Office of Crime Prevention) do here in Columbus," said Seth. "Not only is NeighborWorks tackling a house here and there, but they are taking a holistic approach of trying to tackle the City of Columbus."
That's exactly what Seth says the Crime Prevention Office works to do, with two focuses: grants and grassroots activities.
The city's office serves as a grantor to several area organizations working to combat crime prevention in one of five ways: recreation, education, community policing, drug and alcohol prevention, or employment.
Seth spends the rest of his time working on grassroots efforts to crime prevention in working with neighborhood associations. He has been working in this role for the last three years and has been a member of the NeighborWorks Board of Directors for about four months.
"This is the only board I've ever wanted to be on," he said. "I don't think people really understand how much of an asset they are to our community." The perfect fit between these two organizations is that a lot of the work NeighborWorks does assists in crime prevention in the long run, Seth said.
"There is a program called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. The concept is if your home has a broken window that you never get fixed, then eventually it will lead to another broken window and that will start to spread throughout your neighborhood," he said. "Getting rid of slums and blight creates happier neighborhoods."
Moreover, people investing in their neighborhoods, ultimately, lead to less crime.
Seth references Bibb Village as a good example of this, as their neighborhood association has banded together to not just cut out crime but to create a healthy, vibrant community of neighbors.
Since joining the board, Seth said one of his favorite surprises has been watching the Columbus Cottage Program unfold.
Seth is originally from Phenix City and moved away for a brief time around college. He has been back in town with his wife for the last 11 years. They have two children, Mary Paige, 12, who attends Richards Middle School and Wesley, 10, who attends the Columbus Ivy Program. The Browns worship at First Baptist Church in Columbus.