I’d heard things about what the community services program did for years at staff meetings, and helped out with the Christmas Baskets program in December each year since I began working here, but as I imagine is true with any new job, I had no clue the scope of the work that was done until I got started. Since starting my position as Community Organizer, I have seen firsthand the amount of work that goes into organizing and maintaining a neighborhood group. I’ve also become a firm believer in the importance of having one available. Neighborhood groups are beneficial in many ways. Members who are involved help look out for one another, and for the other people in their neighborhoods as well, which is important for safety reasons. It makes people more aware of the issues and also the positive things in their community. Neighborhoods help keep members in touch with key people such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, local politicians, and others who are a wealth of helpful knowledge and information. There’s also a social aspect to neighborhood groups. Keeping in regular touch with your neighbors helps foster a sense of safety, health, and community.
I haven’t been in this position for quite a year yet, but I’ve learned so much about organizations such as CONO (Coalition of Neighborhood Organizations), DAPB (Decatur Area Project Board), and met so many wonderful, dedicated people from both groups, and from all of the neighborhoods that we work with. I have a lot to learn still, and I’m so excited to be a part of it all.
If you’re interested in learning about neighborhood groups, whether it’s finding out if there’s one in your neighborhood, or if you’re wanting to get one started, please give us a call. We’re here to help.