Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Moving to Lake Worth - A few questions"

Interesting e-mail exchange with someone who may be moving up from Miami to Lake Worth. Revealing what perceptions and impressions people have when they think of our city. Here is the exchange - certain information is edited out to protect anonymity. The posting is done with the writer's permission. Feel free to comment on the post if you want to add more information for this person.

Hello there,

My name is Jane and my family and I are going to be moving to Lake Worth within the next month. I found your website while doing some research on Lake Worth and at this point feel that you are the person to contact about questions I have about the city and where to live. I hope you don't mind that I emailed you but I've tried several other avenues, including contacting the Lake Worth Police Dept to no avail!

We are moving up from Miami. We lived in the downtown area called "The Roads" and lived in an old 1926 home and loved it. We drove around Lake Worth and realized we would like to live in the old part of Lake Worth east of 95 but whenever we mention this area to people in Lake Worth, they look at us like we are crazy and say that it is totally unsafe. I've checked out some crime stats and the sexual offenders site. We have two small boys but don't mind living in a mixed area (economically, racially, etc.). We are not turned off by the fact that there is crime nearby but it is a little...interesting? (for lack of a better word) to read about Lake Worth's high crime rates, especially compared to other cities.

We are currently looking at an old spanish style home on X Avenue North and Y st.

I noticed you are on the board of the Lake Worth CRA and I've been reading up on all of that. It seems like there is a good push to revitalize Lake Worth and thus increase its overall safety.

Sorry this is a bit rambly but I wasn't sure where to start and the last place my husband and I want to end up is way out west in some character-less sprawling subdivision.

Thanks for your time and thoughts!


Jane - so nice to hear from you and thank you for reaching out for information. Lake Worth is a really great community in many respects. I will not kid you...we have our problems and crime (and the perception of crime) is one of them. Almost a year ago now, we merged our police department with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office and there is a marked improvement in responsiveness and proactiveness as it relates to the crime issue. Where you are looking may be more impacted by people walking up and down Dixie Hwy - that sometime need to lay their head down somewhere to sleep. Some of these people scout out houses when owners are away and then burglarize them. One person I know experienced this. If you are looking for an older home, you might want to look in the area immediately north and south of downtown - K through O Streets - you might be able to find some good buys in that area and you are less prone to the Dixie Hwy. influence. That also puts you within walking distance of our cute downtown. You might also want to check out the area north of 7th west of Dixie. There might be some good properties available there.

We need people like you to move here and help make the place better for everyone. There is so much to like - all the public land on the water, sense of place, an engaged population (has its good and bad points - lol).

I hope this will help make your decision.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Wes Blackman


Thank you for the quick and thoughtful reply. Feel free to post my email on your blog, I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on all of this.

I, too, am intrigued by all the public land that is on the water, and, like you said, the sense of place that seems to surround the east part of Lake Worth. And it's encouraging to know there are engaged residents. My husband and I are truly interested in urban issues, planning, new urbanism, finding ways for people of all ages and economic positions to live amongst each other in community, etc. We would love to help be a part of what's going on in Lake Worth.

Thanks for the insight about Dixie hwy. Too bad the house we are looking at is only one block in. It's been maintained really well and it has 4 bedrooms (a lot of the homes seemed to be on the 2 to 3 bedroom size). Perhaps we will invest in a good guard dog and an alarm system ;)

Thank you, again, for your help. If we end up in the area I know we would like to be a part of community groups, volunteering, etc. Would you mind if I contacted you again if any other questions pop up? I'll add your blog to my reader so we can start getting an idea of what's happening in Lake Worth.