Building Strong Neighborhoods & Communities

Building Strong Neighborhoods & Communities

A while back in a previous blog, I talked about how we are meeting the needs of the community while also meeting our mission of building resilient children.  I thought it was time to give an update on how we are also meeting our mission of building strong neighborhoods & communities.

To help build strong neighborhoods & communities, we focus on community engagement and capacity building to help build relationships and social capital, to give a voice and opportunities for service and leadership, to foster a sense of belonging and ownership and to build skills and capacity in both individuals and groups. How do we accomplish this?

Through events like National Night Out, a city-wide opportunity open to all residents of Springfield that offers free food, interactive activities and access to information and resources that promote safety and crime prevention.  We are proud to partner with the Springfield Police Department, the City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board on this annual event.  Our next National Night Out is actually Tuesday, August 4, 2015 and we invite everyone to come out and enjoy!

Through Neighborhood Night Out events, which offer neighbors in neighborhoods across the city the chance to meet, mingle and get to know each other in their neighborhood parks while enjoying free food and fun activities.

Through providing support, training and technical assistance to city-recognized neighborhood associations across Springfield.  Did you know there are more than 17 neighborhood associations in our community?  These are led by volunteers who share their time and talents to help make their community a better place to live, work and play.

Through Neighborhood Clean-ups, which are funded by the City of Springfield and provide the chance for residents to dispose of trash, bulky items and brush and leaves for free.  Not only does this program clean-up the neighborhoods, but it also creates a sense of community and pride among residents.

Through the Community Collaboratives, which bring people together to address our community’s most pressing issues.  More than 300 community volunteers are currently working on addressing poverty, child abuse and neglect, lack of affordable housing, homelessness, the environment, hoarding, health, and early childhood and education.  The Collaboratives are the foundation of Community Partnership because they help to mobilize resources and serve as a catalyst for positive change.

Through the Springfield Affordable Housing Center, which provides access to 10 community partners offering on-site resources for affordable housing and homeless prevention.  The Center also houses One Door, our community’s centralized intake for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.  So individuals and families that visit the Center can apply for housing, food stamps and Medicaid, get legal aid, get placed in a shelter or emergency shelter, and get work assistance all in one place!

And through our Regional Support Center, which provides technical assistance and builds the capacity of community coalitions across our 21 county service area.  These coalitions focus their efforts on reducing substance abuse and violence through educational awareness campaigns, programming and events.

Using a holistic approach and with the help of our partners and volunteers, these are some of the ways that we continue to build strong neighborhoods & communities!  Coming soon…building healthy families. So stay tuned!