Community Building: Beyond Presence to Contribution and Membership



We believe that merely being present in the community is not necessarily valued participation and membership.  We are constantly asking “What More Is Possible” to quote John O’Brien.  We have partnered with Helen Sanderson Associates, UK to identify a set of 17 skills or tools that can help us be more intentional and successful at supporting people to have valued relationships and community membership.

Training Opportunities

Belonging:  Deepening Connections in Relationships and Community

A two-day training for service providers that introduces skills that can lead to valued community membership and stronger personal relationships for people who use services. In the Belonging: Deepening Connections in Relationships and Community training participants will consider why relationships and valued community participation matter for everyone including people with disabilities.

     Learning about the person:

  • What are the interests, capacities, gifts and contributions
  • What are the networks of opportunities

     Learning about the community:

  • Discovering the community of abundance not scarcity
  • Discovering community places and associations that offer common interests and welcome

     Considering support both natural and paid:

  • The role of the community and the role of services .
  • Characteristics of community builders
  • Implementing community building into the work of service agencies

Participants will leave with a workbook of discovery tools that will sharpen their skills (See examples below). For more information on training, email Claudia Bolton

Other Resources

Chris’ Move
This is a story about Chris and his move from Sonoma Developmental Center back to the Bay Area.

Walnut Grove’s civic center is Alma’s Cafe
Walnut Grove civic center is Alma.pdf

Alma’s is the cafe civic center for an agricultural region that encompasses four counties.

Planning and the Golden Rule
Golden Rule.pdf
Written by Arthur Bolton, this article takes a look at the typical practices of planning, funding and evaluating neighborhood initiatives from the prospective of neighborhood residents.

A Workbook for Community and Relationship Building
Community Building.pdf
This workbook is a compilation of tools focused on helping people develop community and interpersonal relationships.

A Guide to Developing Community Connections
Building Community Connections.pdf
This workbook is a compilation of tools and information gathered from people across the country who do the work of community building.