CHEER Initiates Neighborhood Improvement Process

May 3, 2013

Takoma Park and Long Branch community members want to know their neighbors and want to work with them on common projects which enhance the quality of life in their communities.  This message emerged from the community strategic planning process last year and speaks to the mission and vision of CHEER. We, along with our partners in the community, have initiated a Neighborhood Improvement Process that will facilitate the connections that neighbors want and need to improve the quality of life where they live.

 

The Neighborhood Improvement Process follows CHEER’s community wide four step approach: (1) engaging neighbors in a shared process, (2) creating a shared vision of what neighbors want, (3) learning how to measure and make this a reality, and (4) taking actions together that fulfill the shared vision.

 

CHEER is working with partners in the community to develop and implement the Neighborhood Improvement Process in a manner that will support activities and initiatives that are already in progress.  It will also seek to identify and bring together resources and supports to help implement new activities, initiatives, and approaches.

 

CHEER is currently working to develop and implement this process with its community partner Wolfgang Mergner, who leads “Seniors and those Who Care for Them”. This is an initiative which seeks to implement “villages” of mutual support across generations to create conditions that allow seniors to age in place. To find out more about this program please contact him at wolfgangjmergner@att.net

CHEER is also looking to further develop and implement the Neighborhood Improvement process through the following initiatives:

  • As convener and member of the Long Branch Health Enterprise Zone Coalition, CHEER will connect neighbors to health care resources and health and wellness activities for neighborhoods that want and need them.

  • CHEER will bring housing information and partners to help neighborhoods find and express their voice on housing concerns, such as affordability, maintenance and repair, and the adequacy of public spaces and facilities.

  • CHEER will link neighborhoods to employment and local economic development opportunities and mutual support networks that will empower neighborhood households to meet their basic needs.

CHEER initiated this process with a meeting of all residents at Essex House, a Takoma Park high rise apartment building, on April 18, 2013. The meeting’s discussion centered on “Programs, Services, and Opportunities” coming to Essex House in 2013.  The meeting included representatives from the African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation, MarVa Harvest, the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, and CHEER.  The meeting included an exercise to determine what residents want more of in their community.

 

If you would like to learn more about the Neighborhood Improvement Process and how CHEER can help to bring this exciting community building initiative to your neighborhood, please contact CHEER’s Director, Bruce Baker at bruce@communitycheer.org.

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