Community Center

  • Who socializes our children and youth?
  • What do we need to know about community influences?
  • Can we restrict negative influences?
  • How can we make better use of positive resources?
  • How are the streets, our neighborhood, and the whole community a context for youth work?

Search Institute has done most of the research on these questions. They have discovered 40 community assets that reduce the possibility of youth being at risk. They have encouraged programs that feature healthy kids in healthy communities.

Globally, there are many non-governmental organizations needing the help of volunteers. The U.N. and other relief and development organizations are constantly actively at work.  In America, volunteers and those who want to be change agents can find many organizations through which to work: Kiwanis, the Lions Club and other service organizations, the United Way, PTAs, Junior League, and churches. Also, state and local public health departments often run programs to build healthy communities.

How are municipal, state and federal governments helping or restricting/neglecting the vitality and functioning of your community?

How can we work together on community development with governments?

It sometimes seems as if community work is filled more with questions than answers.  Like many other fields of work, the questions are answered as you engage in your work. Hopefully, this resource center will give you a space to reflect and find some answers on some of these pressing questions.

Community Resources

See also the Community topic in our CYS Infopedia.

America’s Promise   Check the Five Promises and “Why We Are Here,” “Community Action,” and “Youth Action.

Center for Public Justice   A DC-based public policy and civic education organization that promotes “principled pluralism” – the encouragement of all faiths to flourish in the public square to bring justice to all. Coming from a reformed faith background, CPJ manages to avoid partisan politics and offer thoughtful reflection on cultivating justice for all (with a special focus on faith-based social service providers) in the public arena.

CCDA (Christian Community Development Association)   Large and small intentional communities and community organizations from all over America are brought together in this network for mutual vision and support.

KIDS COUNT   An initiative of the Annie E. Casey foundation, KIDS COUNT provides community-level information on kids by providing access to state-specific inventories of data from local sources, such as health departments, human services agencies, and schools.  KIDS COUNT is a powerful new tool for community leaders, policymakers, service providers, parents and others who want to take a closer look at the local factors that affect the lives of children and families.

HandsOn Network   This rapidly growing non-profit organization puts busy, working people in direct-service, team volunteer projects with a variety of schedules and time commitments.

Civic Enterprises   “Civic Enterprises is a public policy firm that helps corporations, nonprofits, foundations, universities and governments develop and spearhead innovative public policies to strengthen our communities and country.”

Communities in Schools   This organization brings the resources of a city into the education of promising inner city youth. It is not a grant-making organization but establishes schools within schools with mentors and resources.

Community Toolbox   One of the most comprehensive websites out there with tools to do community development work well.

The Corporation for National and Community Service   This organization, centerpiece of President Clinton’s national service program, has a mandate to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in community-based service. AmeriCorps is one of its programs. The corporation functions as a clearinghouse of information and technical expertise for service initiatives in the U.S. and as a service “venture capitalist,” providing funding on a competitive basis for state and national programs.

Emmanuel Gospel Center   is “Dedicated to the vitality of urban churches and communities.”  Check out “Ministries and Staff” and “Urban Ministry Resources.”

Fasten   A network of faith-based urban organizations ”sharing knowledge, strengthening connections, improving  outcomes.” Encourages successful planning, practices, and evaluation of programs.

Healthy Cities Resource List   Although a bit dated, this online resource of organizations and websites holds numerous valuable links to developing and sustaining healthy communities around the world.

KIDS COUNT Data Book Online (2013)   10 key measures comprise an index of child well-being used to rank states and supplemental data on education, health, and economic conditions for each state. (Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Leadership Foundations of America   Coordinates Leadership Foundations in U.S. cities dedicated to the spiritual and physical renewal of communities. President, Reid Carpenter.

National Community Education Association

National Youth Leadership Council   “… a movement linking youths, educators and communities to redefine the role of youths in society… engages students in meaningful service through their schools and communities.

Our Little Net   Community happenings in thousands of U.S. communities.

Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation   100 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, (412)281-3752.  Many U.S. cities have Leadership Foundations which act as clearing houses and initiators of urban programs of many different varieties. These private organizations have helped many community initiatives get off the ground by bringing together resources to met key needs.

Points of Light Foundation   736 Jackson Place NW, Washingon, D.C. 20503, (202)408-5162.  An independent, non-profit organization mobilizing leaders from all sectors of society and helping them to motivate their members for community service. This is not a grant-making organization; rather it works through the media, businesses, government, non-profits. It has 400 volunteer centers and 66 corporate volunteer councils throughout the US.

Search Institute   Check out their information under “Knowledge” which you can find on left of screen. Dedicated to healthy kids in healthy communities. Note carefully their forty developmental assets that prevent youth at risk.

The Urban Institute   Much research, important information, and many links.

World Vision   Information about this organization in US and world, many links.