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Neighborhood Voices: In Lealman, the Vision Is Coming Together

Ray Neri | Lealman | Lealman Community Association

Community activists have worked for years to improve the unincorporated Lealman community and it looks like it’s beginning to pay off.

By Ray Neri, president, Lealman Community Association

There’s an old saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Well, the same could be said if you’re trying to raise a community and its people out of poverty. That’s just another way of saying that, to get social changes done, you have to form extensive partnerships with the service providers that will head the changes. The difficulty has always been how to coordinate the effort without duplication and how these services will be delivered in a timely and efficient way.

Now, after more than a decade of building relationships, it looks as if the Lealman community might have formed the necessary partnerships to transform itself. Those partnerships have most recently resulted in the Pinellas County School System’s offer to lease the closed Clearview Avenue Elementary School to Pinellas County for the use of the Lealman Community.

This Wednesday (June 3), all the partners plan to meet to discuss possible uses for the school with an overriding idea that it would be a “one stop shop” for services and activities. They’ll also talk about strategies for transforming Lealman. And they’re hoping Lealman residents will come to offer ideas and direction.

Among the officials and stakeholders scheduled to be there or to send representatives: the Pinellas County Commission, County Administrator Mark Woodard, the Pinellas County School System, the Juvenile Welfare Board, the Dream Center, the Pinellas County Sheriff, the sheriff’s Police Athletic League program, the Lealman-Asian Family Center, the Lealman Community Association and more.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (June 3). It’s at the headquarters of the Juvenile Welfare Board, 14155 58th St. N, Largo. (It has a Clearwater mailing address.) It’s open to the public and everyone is welcome. For information about Lealman, see

Neighborhood Voices is an occasional feature that gives leaders of community groups a chance to talk about the people who live in their neighborhoods, what’s happening to them, the issues they’re facing and what’s important to them. Interested in taking part? Email TB Reporter at or call 855-4tbnews (855-482-6397). It’s toll free. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Ray Neri | Lealman | Neighborhood Voices | Dream Center

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