Creating Abundant Communities: Calgary Neighborhood Block Program

Are you a community connector? Do you know your neighbors or would like to get to know them? Come volunteer with Calgary Alliance for the Common Good as a Neighborhood Block Captain. In this role, you will build strong communities, increasing resiliency, and connection on your neighborhood block, by connecting with your neighbors. A strong neighborhood can mobilize quickly attending to community needs in the case of a resurgence of Covid, but also contributes towards a culture of care and connection, increases a sense of belonging and inclusion and leads towards a safer and more livable city. Equally, you will have opportunities to develop leadership skills while connecting with a broader network of Block Captains around the city. The time commitment for this role is fluid but approximately involves an hour a week connecting with neighbors in a way that is appropriate during COVID, one check in phone call a week with the Block Captain Coordinator and twice monthly zoom meetings with the larger network of Neighborhood Block Captains around the city.

Volunteer as a Block Captain:

Building Neighborhood Teams Webinar: here.   

Password: p8.5x?V5

Step 1: Register with Calgary Alliance for the Common Good by emailing info@calgarycommongood.org so we can provide free support to you. 

We will provide:

  • Regular Check-in calls with the captains to support them.

 

  • A bi-monthly meeting with a network of Block Captains to share resources, ideas and feedback of what is working in their communities.

 

  • Various Webinars on topics including:
    • Mental Health
    • Emotional Health
    • Government Resources Available
    • Connections with other members that may be able to provide additional support.

 

Step 2:  Choose your area.  This could be your street, your condo project, or a portion of your apartment complex.  

 

Step 3:  Prepare a connection sheet.  You can download fillable forms here or here or create your own.  Some suggestions are below:     

 

   

 

 

 

"Hello Neighbor.  I live at ________________________. 

You’re invited to participate in a Block Program sponsored by the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good.  We want to help our neighbours  stay safe and feel connected during these challenging times. We would like to connect our community so that we can provide support to each other.  Some areas where you might need help could include food deliveries, snow shoveling, lawn mowing, or a phone call to ward off the loneliness.  Or, perhaps, you can help with one of those tasks.  Perhaps you don’t need help now but you may in the future. By building a network now we are hoping to create a supportive community in our neighbourhood.

If you are interested please contact  ___________________ at __________________________________________ or at:  _______________________ or drop this note back with your contact information.  Be sure to include your name, address, and contact information.   

 

Step 4:  Deliver to your contact area - practicing safe distance. 

 

Step 5:  Follow-up a few days later with another note from homes you have not heard from, most of us have to hear something 4 or 5 times before we pay attention. Multiple invitations may be necessary.

 

Step 6:  Develop a simple way to track the contact information/needs/availablity.  (A simple spreadsheet can be found here.)

 

Step 7:  Have volunteers call each person/family on the block at least once a week to check-in.  These volunteers can identify any needs and pass it on to those able to help if they are unable to do so themselves.  For instance, housebound individuals may be happy to contact neighbours and pass on the actual task of groceries etc to others. 

 

Step 8:  Invite your leaders to connect with our regular webinars and support calls. Our next webinar can be found here.

 

Step 9:  Arrange for opportunities for your community to interact on a larger scale.  Suggestions include:

  • Facebook - Facebook Live
  • Zoom 
  • Microsoft Teams (if someone has a business account)
  • Google Duo
  • Google Hangouts

 

Step 10:  Keep your commitments and know that you are making a difference.

 

Practicing physical distancing does not mean we must be socially distant.

 


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