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Our Approach

NeighborWorks Lincoln strengthens neighborhoods across Lincoln by partnering with local residents and stakeholders to foster community-building efforts. The Community Building and Engagement program cultivates community relationships to help improve the quality of life for all Lincoln residents through Asset-Based Community Development. This approach reinforces the Comprehensive Community Development framework that looks to leverage all of our organization’s strengths in partnering alongside residents in a neighborhood to strengthen a community through long-term investment.

Asset-Based Community Development

"Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is a strategy for sustainable community-driven development. Beyond the mobilization of a particular community, ABCD is concerned with how to link micro-assets to the macro-environment. The appeal of ABCD lies in its premise that communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilizing existing but often unrecognized assets, thereby responding to and creating local economic opportunity. 

ABCD builds on the assets that are already found in the community and mobilizes individuals, associations, and institutions to come together to build on their assets - not concentrate on their needs. An extensive period of time is spent in identifying the assets of individuals, associations, and then institutions before they are mobilized to work together to build on the identified assets of all involved. Then the identified assets from an individual are matched with people or groups who have an interest or need in that asset. The key is to begin to use what is already in the community." | Collaborative for Neighborhood Transformation

The key principles of ABCD are:

  • Relationship based: Authentic relationship building is a best practice approach. An intentional effort to build and nourish relationships is the core of ABCD and all community building.
  • Strength based: Everyone and every place has strengths. People can contribute and want to contribute. Strengths must be discovered and supported.
  • Resident led: It is essential to engage residents who are the most impacted and focus on listening. Allowing communities to address their own questions and find their answers invites stronger participation. Residents are the answer. Institutions are the supporters.

Comprehensive Community Development

"Comprehensive Community Development (CCD) is a place-based and intentional approach aimed at improving lives and strengthening communities. CCD works at the intersection of people, places, and systems. By creating a shared vision, unified strategy, and a collaborative structure to attract and deploy resources, CCD creates vibrant local communities that offer people equitable opportunities to thrive. It is also built on a foundation of inclusive resident engagement, which is central to creating and sustaining positive change." | NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks Lincoln is committed to Comprehensive Community Development framework that prioritizes seven key principles:

  1. Comprehensive Community Development is an intentional approach to creating a place of opportunity.
  2. Several core goals and strategies that improve lives and strengthen communities underlie comprehensive community development efforts.
  3. Every effort is unique and driven locally by residents and stakeholders.
  4. Robust comprehensive community development approaches are guided by a community-generated plan.
  5. No one can do it alone. Partnerships are essential.
  6. Strong, high-capacity organizations and community leadership are needed to lead and coordinate comprehensive community development efforts.
  7. Capacity and investment are required to achieve long-term change.

Building Resident Leadership

Resident-led community development strengthens neighborhoods by working with the existing strengths of a community to lead sustainable and mutually beneficial community change. NeighborWorks Lincoln recognizes the power of resident leadership and works to foster relationships with residents to support:

  • Neighborhood/community visioning and planning
  • Place-based initiatives
  • Resident engagement opportunities

Resident Engagement Opportunities

  • Community Leadership Institute: NeighborWorks Lincoln regularly sponsors the participation of neighbor groups in the NeighborWorks America Community Leadership Institute (CLI). This hands-on training brings together groups from around the nation and focuses on ways to strengthen the voice and leadership skills of community leaders. Participants are usually identified around June/July and attend a training in October. Upon returning, groups are given funding to support a community project.
  • Lincoln Housing Advocates Events + Efforts:  A number of residents wanted to collaborate with other residents outside of established neighborhood associations, which prompted NeighborWorks Lincoln and Collective Impact Lincoln to establish the Lincoln Housing Advocates group.
  • NeighborWorks Lincoln Committees: The following committees have availability for additional members:  
    • Community Building and Engagement Committee
    • Design and Development Roundtable
    • Finance Committee
    • NeighborWorkforce Loan Committee
  • Neighborhood Advisory Committees: NeighborWorks Lincoln is working on some neighborhood-specific initiatives that will include resident advisory committees. Check out the neighborhood map here.
    • Azalealand
    • Capitol View
    • Malone/Hawley
    • Promenade at Pioneers
  • Mayor's Neighborhood Roundtable: Established in 1984, the Mayor's Neighborhood Roundtable provides a forum for networking with neighborhoods, City government, and other concerned organizations through:
    • Direct, formal, and informal discussions between the Mayor, City staff, and neighborhood leaders.
    • Exchange of ideas concerning city-wide issues and development processes.
    • Shared information and support among the neighborhood associations themselves.
  • Community/Neighborhood Forums: The NeighborWorks Lincoln team partners with residents and institutions to offer opportunities to engage a variety of stakeholders regarding a particular issue or topic. These can include facilitated conversations, panel discussions, small group engagement, and other strategies to bring residents and stakeholders together.
  • Prairie Roots Community Land Trust Board of Directors: The CLT Board oversees the management of the trust, its development strategy, and the real estate portfolio comprising Lincoln’s permanently affordable housing inventory.
  • Strong Neighborhood Grants: The NeighborWorks Lincoln Community Building and Engagement team is part of the Lincoln Community Builder Coalition, which is funding $25,000 to local groups and individuals to build up their neighborhoods. This includes, but is not limited to, events that bring neighbors together and strengthen relationships; projects that enhance safety, beauty, or social connections in a neighborhood; or projects that build resident leadership and roles. Projects can be small or large, individual or partnership-oriented. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and the maximum is $1,000 for each project. The Community Builder Coalition meets on the fourth Monday of each month to review applications.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Help with a neighborhood clean-up, assist at a community event, participate in canvassing efforts, and more. Complete a volunteer inquiry form to get involved today!

Creative Placemaking

NeighborWorks Lincoln has a long history of being involved in public art installation and other creative placemaking activities. Creative placemaking is the process by which many parts of a community work together to shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, using art and other cultural activities.

Community Partners

Neighborhood transformation is only possible when we all work together. NeighborWorks Lincoln is proud to partner with the following groups toward these ends: 

…and many more. 

If you are interested in connecting please contact one of NWL's Community Builders:

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