Promoting Assets, Reducing Crime (PARC)

Promoting Assets, Reducing Crime (PARC) is as a multi-year collaboration launched in 2015 that engages neighborhood anchor institutions, residents, city leaders, and other stakeholders to promote assets and reduce crime in Milwaukee's Near West Side neighborhoods. It is a project of Near West Side Partners, Inc. (NWSP) and is funded through the support of five anchor institutions — Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation.

PARC is an innovative, data-driven, and place-based example of community collaboration that addresses neighborhood opportunities and challenges. Interventions are data-informed and goal-oriented, draw on best practices from other places, and leverage existing assets and relationships in the community. PARC focuses on four main activities: promoting economic development, enhancing housing stock, improving public safety, and strengthening neighborhood connections.

PARC models how community-based participatory research projects can facilitate change and capture the input of neighborhood stakeholders.

The project is housed within the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking and co-led by representatives of the Office of Community Engagement, Public Affairs, and the Office of Research and Innovation. Patrick Kennelly, director of the Center for Peacemaking, is the principal investigator of PARC. 

Marquette University students, faculty, and staff have participated in and contributed to this initiative. These efforts have enhanced experiential learning opportunities for students and advanced the mission of the university.

Milwaukee's Near West Side

The Near West Side is home to nearly 28,000 residents, 10,000 of whom are students at Marquette University. The area includes seven distinct neighborhoods directly west of Milwaukee's downtown business district.

The Near West Side reflects the city’s racial and economic diversity. There are a variety of housing options, including single family homes, duplexes, large multifamily complexes, apartments, and historic mansions. About 86% of housing units are renter-occupied and subsidized or assisted units account for nearly one-fifth of the area’s housing stock. There are 2,412 site-based low-income housing units in the area.

There is also a wide array of assets across the seven neighborhoods, including K-12 schools, places of worship, nonprofits, cultural venues, historic buildings, government and social service agencies, a university, and one hospital.

Over 350 employers are located in the Near West Side and nearly 29,000 employees work in the community.