The probing for the first micro-community intervention of the Neighborhood Resilience Project including strength findings such as leadership, relationship and proximity to the organization, the willingness of the influencers within the micro-community to participate and finally an early adopters spirit. Unlike the subsequent micro-communities who saw the impact within the first intervention and then wanted to participate, the first micro-community needed to trust the project was going to work and trust the organization was going to follow through.
After one micro-community member hosted an in-home meeting to rally her neighbors around the project, the micro-community soon had 75% of their neighbors on board to participate and began to move forward in planning their own Consultative Workshop. The neighbors showed a great sense of commitment to improving their micro-community by ensuring the event was well-attended and created an open space for sharing their thoughts, ideas and insights about how to improve life within their micro-community. This workshop was the start of this micro-community building a supportive network among each other as a first step in building their resilience.
From there, plan were created out of the ideas generated at the Consultative Workshop. Because this plan was generated by the micro-community members themselves, the plan was a first step in creating competency. That sense of competency is another earmark of creating resilience. The next step in creating competency among the members of the micro-community, is to then build leaders among the micro-community. The people who served in these roles for the first micro-community worked diligently with their neighbors to fulfill and complete their plan.
By working through their plans – both collectively and individually, the micro-community created a culture of self-care, which also helps to build resilience. The self-care for the micro-community members included a wide variety of items, such as getting a flu shot for the first time, having a primary care exam each year, getting an eye and dental exam, providing food for neighbors after surgeries or the loss of family members, calling on birthdays, helping each other keep the micro-community clean and free of trash and also working diligently to ensure those within the micro-community were akin to this new culture.
The final piece of resilience building is coping strategies. By building a supportive network, a sense of competence and a self care routine, the members of the micro-community were thus also building their coping strategies toolkit.