Gainsboro Steering Committee

  • 5 p.m.
  • 3rd Thursday of each month
  • Gainsboro Library
    15 Patton Avenue NW
    Roanoke, VA 24016
The Gainsboro Steering Committee consists of 8 members, 7 elected from the neighborhood with 1 nonvoting member representing the Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates (RNA).

Each member is selected through a democratic process involving neighborhood residents and investors. The top 7 candidates that received the most votes in addition to an 8 nonvoting member that was appointed by the Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates (RNA) from their membership became the Gainsboro Steering Committee. 

Current members are:
  • Ms. Evelyn D. Bethel, Chair
  • Mr. Thomas Schwendeman, Vice-Chair
  • Ms. Sandra Kelly, Nonvoting
  • Ms. Brenda Allen
  • Mr. George Heller
  • Ms. Claudia Pannell
  • Mr. Cory Robinson
  • Ms. V. Lee Wolfe
Made up of residents and businesses within the neighborhood, the Gainsboro Steering Committee's role is advisory regarding the decisions being made utilizing the targeted CDBG funds. The city recognizes how important the activities to be undertaken in the neighborhood are to Gainsboro residents and organizations, and how important it is to have the support of the residents and organizations for these CDBG-funded activities. Therefore, the city wanted to incorporate the views of the Gainsboro Steering Committee regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the various funded project applications being considered that would affect Gainsboro.

Duties of a committee member include:
  • Housing Development - Comprehensive, community-endorsed housing strategy promoting rehabilitation, maintenance, infill development, and increased home ownership
  • Conservation - Zoning changes needed to establish future land use patterns and architectural design standards that will protect the character of the neighborhood. Obtain historic designations for promotion of rehab and infill development
  • Capacity Building - Collaboration among the various neighborhood-based organizations to ensure open communication and awareness of development projects
  • Infrastructure - Traffic management and street design (traffic calming, sidewalks, curbing, open space, etc.)
  • Crime Awareness and Control - Work with local law enforcement to decrease crime within the neighborhood
  • Review and Recommendation Awards - Historic Gainsboro Request For Proposal (RFP) to City Council
Expected outcomes from decisions made by the Gainsboro Steering Committee include:
  • Increasing citizen involvement in revitalizing their neighborhood
  • Assisting in the creation of diverse housing choices, such as single-family, townhouses, condos, housing clusters
  • Developing a mixed-income community
  • Eliminating blight through code enforcement, rehabilitation, and new construction
  • Improving public infrastructure (community environment)
  • Increasing the economic / assessed value of properties
  • Providing housing that meets the needs of residents in the neighborhood
  • Increasing the home ownership rate in the neighborhood
  • Increasing public safety