"RC/RF is ultimately about forging new relationships and empowering people to improve their lives. We don’t know where things will end up, but we do know that the process starts with asking the essential question – who is not in the room or at the table? Then, it proceeds with inviting people in, valuing what they have to say, and always, listening, listening, listening."
--Elizabeth Gruber, Chair, Boston LISC Local Advisory Board
Modeled after successful comprehensive community development efforts implemented by LISC affiliates in 15 other cities, Resilient Communities/Resilient Families (RC/RF) addresses people and place and leads to vibrant neighborhoods full of opportunity and choice. Following relational organizing techniques and on-on-one interviews, community members develop a community contract that articulates neighborhood priorities with clear strategies to address those priorities. The community contract will serve as a reinvigorated neighborhood platform and a means for collective accountability. Fundamentally, RC/RF encourages residents to identify community needs, implement comprehensive solutions, and regain ownership over the direction of their neighborhood.
Here’s how the model works:
- Using hour-long one-one-one interviews, the effort engages local residents and stakeholders in an ongoing discussion about the community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. There is a focus on involving residents who are respected in their neighborhood but are not usually “at the table” with established leaders and stakeholders.
- The partners analyze the results of the interviews and create a summary report that is presented to the participating individuals and agencies and other community stakeholders through a public forum.
- Following the analysis of the interviews, the participants and other community stakeholders are convened and help create action teams. Each action team focuses on a particular topic chosen by the participants and charged with designing one or more community improvement projects or strategies focused on a specific neighborhood, area or constituency that can have tangible results within two years.
- Together all the teams and participants create a comprehensive community action plan or "contract" bringing together all the projects and strategies and identifies an “owner”, defined as an agency or organization invested enough to make a commitment to see that specific projects or strategies are implemented.
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