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    My neighborhood is Rosedale, Queens. For the most part, today, it is a quiet residential middle-class neighborhood in Southeastern Queens. Historically, it has been a family-oriented, racially mixed neighborhood with African-American, Caribbean, Jewish, Italian, Asian and Hispanic residents. It is bordered to the north by the Belt Parkway/North/South Conduit, to the east and south by Nassau County and JFK Airport, and to the west by Springfield Gardens.

    In the 60s and 70s it was an mostly white neighborhood. But in the mid-70s, early 80s, there was an influx of African-American families. That was the beginning of racial tension in Rosedale. Officials and residents worked really hard to resolve the racial issues. In recent years, many white families moved and Rosedale has become about 75% African America and Caribbean with about 50% occupied by married couples with children. 65% of the Homes are owner occupied.

    The major issue today is the increase of drug crimes and sexual offenses. The drug activity takes place along the commercial strip of 243rd Street. Young men from the neighborhood loiter in by grocery stores and sell drugs (specifically marijuana). This has also attracted some violence, including shootings and sexual assaults against women on quiet streets, although home invasions and burglaries are very low. There is also a problem with sexually transmitted diseases among the younger African-American population in the neighborhood.

    A community health nurse can help this neighborhood in addressing the issue of marijuana use. This can be combined with a STD awareness program where sex education and information about sexually transmitted diseases is disseminated. In recent years the police at the 105th precinct have stepped up their efforts to address crime in the neighborhood. A community health nurse may also partner with the police and houses of worship to spread awareness.

    Some say that as the racial mix changed, crime has gone up. Statistically this is true. However, Rosedale still remains relatively safe. I do love this neighborhood and the quiet environment. I do however try to avoid the strip on 243rd Street that tends to attract all the negative elements of the neighborhood.

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