SOUTH BETHLEHEM Task Force talks spring cleaning
Mayor’s South Side Task Force Chairman Roger Hudak declared “The cleanup was a phenomenal success, as usual,” at the April 24 SSTF meeting. He then turned it over to Adrienne Washington from the Lehigh University Community & Regional Affairs to comment on April 14’s Spring Southside Cleanup event. She said “There was a great student turnout,” including Donegan ES students taking part earlier.
Washington said that volunteers will begin sorting donated items for the upcoming Great South Side Sale. Lehigh is still accepting donations from students and the general public at Lamberton Hall through May 30. The university’s annual rummage sale is scheduled for June 2 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the parking lot across from St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church.
Groundbreaking for SouthSide Commons, Lehigh’s new student housing facility at Brodhead and Packer avenues is scheduled for May 17 at 10 a.m., according to Washington.
Dixie Miller and Hank Portney, both members of the Lehigh University student senate, described a project they participated in involving canvassing the neighborhoods around the college for input on how to better relations between the off-campus college renters and the area residents.
Janine Santoro, from the Bethlehem Area Public Library South Side Branch, said they are seeking volunteers to assist as teachers’ aides with the branch’s “Vocational ESL of the Lehigh Valley” class scheduled for fall 2018. She also announced free “Wellness Workshops” conducted by life coach Ryan Dunphy for May 17 and June 2. For children there’s “Snack Box Storytimes” every Wednesday in May and for teenagers, a “Teen Tie Dye Party” on May 15. For information: bapl.org.
Estefania Perdomo, representing the Community Action Development Corp. of Bethlehem (CADCB), said they are continuing their support of south side entrepreneurs with their “Start Your Business” series of classes every month, as well as one-to-one consultations. For information: cadcb.caclv.org.
Perdomo is passionate about the CADCB’s role in housing advocacy, especially in resolving landlord/tenant issues. “Today we had one of the tougher ones,” she said. Perdomo emotionally described how a couple and their emotional support dog were just evicted from their apartment, “Part of it had to do with code issues, part of it had to do with the landlord,” she said, adding, “They have nowhere to sleep tonight.” The worst part of it for her clients was “Now they have to give up their dog,” she explained.
Several SSTF members offered advice and assistance after hearing the heartbreaking story.
On a happier note, Sandra Soliman introduced herself as the new director of development and communications at New Bethany Ministries. The not-for-profit’s annual “Summer Sizzle Putting FORE New Bethany Ministries” will take place June 2 at Putt U in Center Valley. The fundraiser features breakfast and lunch, and a family-friendly mini golf tournament with prizes. Information: newbethanyministries.org.
The Mayor’s South Side Task Force meets regularly on the last Tuesday of the month at Northampton Community College’s E. Third street campus.