We propose Community Weaving America! The mission is unique. We are weaving a new world one Good Neighbor at a time to...(the people engaged in Community Weaving complete the mission statement!) The time has come for people to be connected! Community Weaving creates an infrustructure in the grass roots comprised of people willing to be Good Neighbors who will serve as a support system. This system is needed in order to maintain social order as government becomes more open and transparent. This infrasture will provide government with the means to track how the people are adapting to change so they can respond to the needs and empower the people.
Community Weaving America creates an infrastructure within the grassroots that will help people assimilate information, identify hot spots, and create an adaptable citizenry that can be mobilized to maintain social order in times of chaos and confusion. We must prepare for the times ahead and work together!
Community Weaving started in 1993 and America is filled with Good Neighbors and trained Community Weavers. Government can help build the effort exponentially by adopting Community Weaving practices as a new mode of operation. www.communityweaving.org
Governing systems are not able to meet the rising demand for services using current management practices. Too many people with too few representatives to reflect the voice of the people.
Recommend creating open and transparent governance system by training government staff how to engage citizens as Good Neighbors using a free web-based tool GoodNeighbors.net that makes human and tangible resources easily and immediately accessible and tracks the shift in reliance on formal systems to informal systems which reduces strain on government. This will require creative action and policy changes whereby agencies integrate Community Weaving practices into service delivery systems. To begin users and consumers will be recruited as Good Neighbors and interwoven into a new social safety net at the grassroots. This will create a whole system functioning of formal and informal community systems. This approach reduces the number of people relying on government systems to get their needs met because they will have free and direct access to the resources of the Family Support Network.
Family Support Networks are self-organized by Good Neighbors across the country. These networks are comprised of Good Neighborsa and places where people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds can get connected and find support from their neighbors. Anyone connected into the network as a Good Neighbor can access the resources of the network for free...no lines...no paperwork, no qualifying! This approach creates a more adaptable and equitable system of support owned and operated by the people. Taxpayers pay for social services, yet not everyone has access to the information and services. It's time everyone has access to the resources they are paying for!
Community Weaving makes a plethora of resources available for a minimal investment of taxpayer dollars. In 2006, 175,000 volunteer hours were tracked, valued as $2.6 million in volunteerism, on a budget less than $25,000. The funds saved can be used to serve the higher needs populations! Since the network is virtual, there is not need to pay for large buildings and costs associated with running them!
Suggest all government staff register as Good Neighbors to weave everyone together before lay offs leave people with valuable skills and abilities stranded and disenfranchised.
Train trainers in social services offices how to revamp policies to engage clients as Good Neighbor volunteers. This will leverage a myriad of human and tangible resources and increase social capital. This will capture the skills of the consumers and grow community capacity.
By training Community Weavers within organizations across community sectors people from diverse socio-eonomic backgrounds will be interwoven to reweave the fabric of community. This will break down silos and reduce duplication.
By training staff and citizens within the community as Community Weavers bridges are built to cross consumers over and connect them to the resources they need to get back on their feet with dignity and respect. Many will slef-organize into Family Support Networks and create their own informal systems of support that will prevent people from requiring formal assistance. By engaging consumers as Good Neighbors the government can play in instrumental role in re-weaving America and increasing community capacity to reduce reliance on formal systems and create resilient communities.
This approach weaves people into the broader community system. By integrating the Community Forum into Community Weaving, the voice of the people creates an accountability system to public officials.
In other words, Community Weaving reweaves the fabric of community and creates a more informed and engaged citizenry that is an integral part of the process of democracy.
Community Weaving America is the change we need to save our children's future and create a more caring, just and civil society!
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