Improved quality of life in our neighborhoods
The work of building communities is about connecting neighbors to one another and nurturing the ties that sustain relationships. Habitat’s decades of work has shown us that individuals and families thrive when they have a safe and stable home in a safe and stable community.
For this reason, it is important to think about the neighborhood that Habitat homeowners and other residents will call home. Participating in community-building efforts allows us to live more fully into our mission.
The “NR” Mission
quality of life
While Habitat’s work always has helped individual families, measuring broader effectiveness is difficult with scattered-site efforts. By focusing on a specific neighborhood, good research can be done on overall quality-of-life improvements. Do all residents of the area feel safer? Are they more engaged, more satisfied? If not, what can be refined in the work to improve results?
with neighborhood residents
Neighborhood revitalization begins with understanding the gifts, dreams and concerns of a neighborhood’s residents: What do they believe will transform the neighborhood and enhance their quality of life? Habitat is not the architect of revitalization.
Instead, we tailor our work to the aspirations and dreams of residents who take on leadership roles in their community’s renewal. By ceding the leadership role to residents, Habitat ensures that the work will continue after we move to another neighborhood.
Partnering with the Community
We can’t do this work alone. We must collaborate with partners who share a common vision, goals and values for the neighborhood and who bring their own areas of expertise to the process, with each organization doing its part to help revitalize the neighborhood. Habitat offers expertise in partnerships and affordable housing.
Partnering with residents and other organizations helps ensure that Habitat’s work — from home rehabs to community gardens, from new houses to financial literacy classes — contributes to the fabric of the neighborhood and makes it an inviting place to call home.
The aspirations of neighborhood residents serve as a blueprint or common vision for revitalization. In partnership with residents and other community organizations, Habitat participates in a neighborhood planning process and implements its part of the plan.
To better meet the aspirations of the residents, Habitat has expanded the array of products and services we provide in many communities to include things like repairs, beautification projects, community cleanups, community gardens, community financial literacy classes and advocacy work.
Throughout the process, feedback and evaluation occurs to make sure all voices in the neighborhood are heard and to measure the results of our collective efforts in the neighborhood.
Outcome evaluation allows us to understand if the neighborhood’s quality of life has been improved and to demonstrate the impact of the work.