Josephine Key, Buffum County Executives
Josephine Key is an active leader of the Buffum County Executives Block Club working on safety and physical improvements on the 3100 block of Buffum Street. She moved into the neighborhood with her then husband and young children over 40 years ago. A few years later, her husband surprised her by buying a home just down the street, which she still owns. Retired since 2010, Josephine spent many years working in operations for Navistar International. Over the years she says she’s noticed much change in the neighborhood. Once evenly divided between black and white residents and having much more younger children, the neighborhood is now mostly black with mostly young adults to seniors.
Josephine says that she hopes that the city will take more notice of low income people who need help but have financial trouble. “There’s people who care about their homes but just don’t have the funds to support and maintain it to the most. All of the available programs exclude people because of bankruptcy, income restrictions and other strict criteria.”
Despite this, overall she’s happy with the direction that the neighborhood is heading, giving much credit to the work of Safe & Sound’s community organizers. She credits this to their awaking of resident’s ownership of their neighborhood, saying that “They’ve inspired people to take control of the blocks. We can make a difference and if we don’t do anything there won’t be a difference. Positive change is happening and I hope it continues to move forward.”
Buffum Street hosted its annual block party and back to school giveaway on Saturday August 12th.