We began our community development efforts in Hillside Court in 2009 and focused on identifying and supporting resident leaders. By 2013 there were 9 resident-led initiatives that were mobilizing dozens of Hillside residents through community action teams. These initiatives included a family support team, a cheerleading squad, a football team, a mobile food pantry, a senior support team, a men’s group, an employment initiative, a computer lab, and a hospitality team. All of these teams were started by and led by Hillside residents.
We are now coaching and training organizations across the nation in this same asset-based approach.