This book provides new insights into an important national community development challenge: how to stimulate the formation of genuinely community-based organizations and effective citizen action in neighborhoods that have not spawned these efforts spontaneously. Using evaluation research and detailed comparative study of community development activity in three diverse demonstration sites; Little Rock, New Orleans and Palm Beach county, the authors identify key elements of building social capital which strongly affect community development.

Getting off to a Good Start: Positioning the Program in the Field

Getting off to a good start: Positioning the program in the field

Selecting sites, hiring staff to work in each locality, and targeting neighborhoods to organize in each site were the initial steps that lay the foundation for the rest of the program. In making these choices, particularly the choice of sites, LISC (i.e., Michael Eichler and Richard Manson) selected the contexts in which the program would be tried and influenced how the program would be perceived there. Most important, they identified a core of participants: private-sector supporters and a group of communities and their resident volunteers—the “raw material” with which the program would work. Site selection committed the program to working in distinct ...

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