“A lot of things can happen in a neighborhood that don’t require a program. “
– Jim Wehner @jimiqwik
NATIONAL DUDLEY ON NEIGHBORHOODS
Jim’s got a big job. He runs the equivalent of Microsoft in the Community Development world.
FCS Community Ministries takes combatting poverty very seriously. By narrowing their focus to one neighborhood at a time, they test and build programs that are replicated throughout the world.
So when Jim talks, a thousand community developers listen.
When businesspeople enter a neighborhood to help, there are two typical pitfalls. Either she’s given a paintbrush or she sets about organizing a program.
If you’re not a painter by trade, you probably shouldn’t be painting in a community. That may be your gift, but it may not be your best utilization in the neighborhood. And sometimes a program doesn’t help, either.
Charity Detox, a book by FCS’ founder, taught me that really helping a community is harder than painting or starting a program. Bob was speaking at a country club once and a man in the audience asked, “What can we do to help improve schools in these neighborhoods?” Bob answered, “Put your kids or grandkids in those schools.” And the whole room thought, “What else can we do?”
Neighbors want better neighborhoods and solutions appear when we (the giver) enter into the neighborhood on their terms and serve according to our gifts.
What have you seen happen in neighborhoods? What are your thoughts on this?
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