Overcoming Barriers to Community Engagement

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Syretta Hill, Community Development Manager Habitat for Humanity of Wake CountySabrina Kelley, Neighborhood Revitalization Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity Fresno CountyAngela Bills, Community Outreach Director, Trinity Habitat for Humanity


Welcome 2

Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Community Engagement


WelcomeThis workshop was designed around the survey results shared with us in January

Intros: Name, title, how long Ive been involved in NRI. (Syretta, Sabrina, Angela)or attending presentation2

NRI What is it?3

Syretta -

Define NRI - Not just housing - All size affiliates can participate (not all solutions may work for every affiliate)


What barriers are affiliates experiencing?

Lets explore them

Activity: Write down a real barrier your affiliate is experiencing on notecard.


Activity write down a real barrier experience on a notecard4

Learning Objectives 5Identify/define community barriers Explore barriers Create simple solutions to address barriers


Exploring Barriers6





Barrier: Perceptions

Myths and misunderstandingsExternal feelings about the neighborhood Communitys feelings about themselves



Myths and Misunderstandings - Race/community outside/cultural barriers (framing culturally) - Myths about affordable housingExternal feelings about the neighborhood - Limited access to resourcesCommunitys feelings about themselves - Apathy

Are there any others we would add to that list?7

Barrier: People

HabitatResidentsNon-resident stakeholdersCritical partnerships



Barrier: Process

New work for HabitatLanguageProcess of engagement Lack of resourcesCommunication and trustConflicting agendasTurnoverTime



Checking the Pulse

Thoughts from the group ?PerceptionsPeopleProcessOther


Sabrina . Check-in

Controlled Repose activity pull cards from the bucket to get attendees to share thoughts, concerns, scenarios.

Are there barriers we missed?

How many people feel like perceptions is their biggest issue? How many people feel like people are their biggest issues?How many people feel like process is their biggest issue?

Activity around notecards.10


Many different strategies

Based on: community needs, circumstances, and assets

Syretta 2 3 minutes - framing the next part of the conversation

- Many different strategies - Specific based community needs, circumstances, and assets - Give examples11

Solutions: PerceptionsElementary approaches12 Educate


Easy and open


Angela (draft)

Educate - educate self: research and educate yourself on the community, history of the neighborhood, culture of the population you are serving -understand the cultural lense by reaching out to people in the community (book: Author, Patty Lane - A Beginner's Guide to Crossing Cultures: Making Friends in a Multicultural World (provides some helpful lenses to sort out six basic cultural differences (context, activity, authority, identity, time, and worldview), and offers practical advice on how to develop cross-cultural relationships and serve in a multicultural ministry environment. - understand perceptions of community and those outside the community (meet people for coffee, a walk, lunch, etc.)- educate the residents on what Habitat is, why it matters, (both through information and action) people dont care what you know until they know that you care - show me: ABWK project, neighborhood cleanup, have HHOs and partner families present to tell and identify strategies to engage in a - Educate others (city, other agencies, other neighborhoods) - through development of action plan (with the residents)- neighborhood drive through- HabiTours

Engage others:Create relationships and Partnerships within the outside community and neighbors More people involved and aware of process the greater credibility you have to finding solutions togetherSpread word on what you are about (meet with local residents, pastors, etc.) engage in a way that is meaningful to them(in W & W, residents to walk neighborhood and introduced us to other neighbors)- attend NA meetings, attend activities important to the community (we supported the health fair)

Meet residents where they are atIn order for community engagement to be successful, you have to identify the residents motivation and help them tap in to it. Be accessible, easy to reach and open to the communitys ideas and approaches to solutions In most cases we don't live in the neighborhoods we serve and we arent from the neighborhoods we serve, so we need to focus on them.

Endurance understand it takes time to build trust and to show people who you are and who Habitat is and it takes time to understand the community you are serving. Be patient and be prepared to invest time in addressing perceptions that may serve as barriers in the community you are serving.

Throw out to the audience if they have another solution based on their experiences12

Barrier: Cultural gatekeepersListen to their issues or concernsKeep them in the loop as part of engagement strategySeek advice/suggestions


Syretta 13

Barrier: Cultural gatekeepersConsider nonthreatening engagement tactics (ABWK)14


Long Acres/Apollo Heights communities

52% Decrease in Crime. According to the City of Raleigh Police Department - from January 1, 2010 through June 14, 2012 shows a 52% decrease in crime (from 89 incidents to 43 incidents).15


Barrier: Cultural gatekeepers16

Question: How do we gain the trust of cultural gatekeepers in the neighborhood?

Syretta to finish talking about Barriers and Solutions were developed real issues identified in the attendee assessment conducted in January.


Solutions: People4 Bs of engaging with residents17 Be transparent

Be present

Be consistent

Be realistic


An effective community development person would use the 4 Bs allowing you to engage effectively with residents, non-resident stakeholders, and critical partners.17

Solutions: Process18Tips for starting:

Review secondary dataMeet with people working in the communityABCDCreate an Asset MapCollect more data (informal methods): Coffee N Chat If this were a Neighborhood Meet and Greet


Barrier: Starting the Process - #119Question: Where / How do we begin the process of Community Engagement?

Questions to Ask Yourself:Do I understand the goals and priorities of NRI? What background work needs to be completed before I start the process of engaging residents?Do I know anyone is already working in the neighborhood and what are they doing?What do I know about the neighborhood the residents (assets and dreams?)

Barriers and Solutions were developed real issues identified in the attendee assessment conducted in January.19

Sources of Secondary DataGOOGLECitys general planElected officialsPublic health agency infoCensus dataUSDA dataSchool websitesPD crime mapsNeighborhood Watch Coordinators


Developing the Framework for Resident EngagementAsset Based Community Development21

ABCD - Methodology that seeks to uncover and utilize the strengths within communities as a means for sustainable development. The basic tenet is that a capacities-focused approach is more likely to empower the community and therefore mobilize citizens to create positive and meaningful change from within. Instead of focusing on a community's needs, deficiencies and problems, the ABCD approach helps them become stronger and more self-reliant by discovering, mapping and mobilizing all their local assets.

An approach that is relatively cheap, effective and empowering, that avoids paternalism and dependence an approach that can be supported by all parts of the political spectrum and initiated at any level of civic life.


Asset Based Community Development


Meet with People in the Community


Use the power of the BRAND to create in roads and conversationslisten then take notes and ask a few questions before you move on. 23

Barrier: #2 Recruiting Community Members24Question: How do we recruit residents and partners?

Questions to ask yourself / team: Who do we need?Why do we need them?Who is going to contact them?What are the next steps?


Example Who Do We Need? Why?25

The team lineup: recognize individual strengths and organize players into position.25

Barrier #3 Agendas and Perceptionsit has been difficult to get African/American churches to partner with us.

residents don't show up for meetings and we dont know how to motivate them to show up

too many opportunities to pursue given the capacity at the affiliate

people don't believe that we are going to actually do the work, so they don't sign up then they see us out there working and get mad when we don't do work on their house


These are actual Reponses from the survey.26

6 Tips for Meaningful EngagementLay down your agenda.

Take up a listening posture.

Document resident-led neighborhood development priorities.

Create buy-in by working on resident-led priorities and projects.

Build resident trust thro