The Lupton Center recently completed a 2-day event for a client who was ready to launch into a robust initiative focusing on place-based, deep-dive, holistic development. They started their journey with us through a virtual open house that included a mixture of our online resources and personal time with our team. Our journey with them is just beginning, and we could not be more excited to equip these change-makers to make change in their focus neighborhoods! They have taken key first steps. Today, we want to share about their journey so far to give you an idea of how you can start working with the Lupton Center to incorporate the principles of Holistic Neighborhood Development in your place.
What Made this Client a Good Fit
Though we are a nonprofit who often works with nonprofits, this particular client is a for-profit corporation who is working on a five-year strategic vision to address chronic material poverty in innovative ways. When we say need a change-maker in every industry to really bring about lasting change, we mean it! You don’t have to be in the social service industry to make an impact.
The sector you are in is not what sets you up for change-making. What made this client a great fit was their mindset. They caught the vision! They knew that in order to make an impact on people’s health, they needed to get proximate to and involve the local community. They were ready to restructure, rehire, and make a strategic plan that would incorporate neighbors. This client knew the results they wanted to get, and they were ready to do the hard work of changing organizationally in order to make it happen.
What was the situation
This company came to us with a strong drive and deep commitment to ending poverty. Though their vision was compelling and their motivation strong, they were starting with a top-down approach that prioritized the input of experts and solutions that would come from outside the community. We have helped them to pivot to a place-based model that sets the pace according to relational trust and commits to the long-haul work of Holistic Neighborhood Development..
What we did at the 2-day event
Our introductory event featured a lot of teaching about the philosophy, mindset, and practices of Holistic Neighborhood Development. We knew that if the long-term vision for creating lasting change was going to get off the ground, the corporation’s senior leadership team had to be fully on board.
In particular, this event focuses on looking carefully at how place-based, long-term development actually works. There are a lot of misconceptions about poverty and place and how impact can be created. We spent a lot of time reframing mindsets and expectations on the realities of this work. . We offered breakout sessions where participants walked through various scenarios from low-income people’s lives. These exercises were designed to help participants see the structural challenges residents may face, and how their organization’s interests must be in submission to the neighborhood interests.
After spending this time reframing people’s mindsets, we talked about practical steps for connecting with neighbors in their communities. Then, we brainstormed structural ways to include neighbors in organizational planning. The company committed to hiring various members from the community to offer insight and expertise.
What are their next steps
Team building and assessment! This client is in the earliest phases of learning about their communities. Right now, they have 6 neighborhoods where they are working. They will work with the Lupton Center team to identify the right leaders for their community development efforts, how to build relational capital and trust in their focus areas, and then how to do a holistic assessment of the neighborhood through our Flourishing Neighborhood Index.
We can’t wait!