So many times, the person behind the scenes of the biggest development is the person next door. What becomes the new neighborhood mural, playground or renovation project usually starts as an idea in the mind of a resident with a vision and commitment.
This is critical when it comes to the priceless work of community transformation. In Flint, like in other major cities, change really does start at home – on the streets and in the subdivisions where everyday citizens decide they want to build a better quality of life. Whether forming a volunteer crime prevention program, beautifying a park, or training youth to find jobs, there are many ways, large and small, to make an impact. Even supporting a local small business can give it a lift that might be the difference in whether it thrives or becomes a vacant building that decays and becomes dangerous.
Organizations like Neighborhood Engagement Hub, featured in this month’s issue (see story), make it easier for residents to become change agents. By coordinating and collaborating with those who live throughout the city the program leverages positive energy and helps channel it toward results. Backed by the Ruth Mott Foundation, Neighborhood Engagement Hub provides a model of support and key training in how to get involved. It’s so much easier to take the first step toward any goal when there’s a framework for how to accomplish it.
Let’s all do our part in helping programs like this one succeed. Attending scheduled events or just spreading the word about any effort to improve Flint’s neighborhoods among family and friends makes a contribution. Taking advantage of resources offers an edge that helps good intentions become great deeds.
Editor’s Note: The first of the Neighborhood leadership workshops will be held every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church located at 1653 Davison Rd, Flint, MI 48506. Interested parties can register to attend the event here.