NWA's Community Building Line of Business
NWGF is a member of NeighborWorks America's national Community Building and Organizing Program Line of Business. By agreeing to join this program, they are committed to the values and principles of the community building and organizing and carry out CB activities as a core "line of business." (See NeighborWorks America National Community Building and Organizing 2013 Program Overview.) NWA's definition of Community Building "refers to the continuous, self-renewing efforts led by community residents engaged in collective action aimed at relationship-building, problem solving and building a stronger community. These efforts are grounded in the belief that people have the ability to name their problem(s) and identify the additional information and resources they need to solve them.
Community building efforts are processes that bring the talents, resources and skills of people in a community and work. They result in improved lives and produce new or strengthened institutions, organizations, relationships, and new standards and expectations for life in the community. As one of the 117 (in FY 2013) members of the CB program, NWGF:
To become a member, NW organizations must be engaged in ongoing programmatic activities that support community building as a Line of Business. This means allocation of resources and a strong commitment to the following three principals:
Program member responsibilities including willingly sharing experiences, learning and information with peers and reinforcing the program's mission of enhancing the quality of Community Building practice across the NeighborWorks Network.
CB Steering Committee
The Community Building Steering Committee sets the programmatic goals for NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Building Programs. The Steering Committee also oversees the programs, policies and priorities for the programs, incorporating NWGF's Community Building goals into the yearly work plan to help them accomplish their mission. Each year, the Steering Committee collaborates to identify unmet neighborhood needs and gaps in service in Great Falls & Black Eagle's high crime and high poverty areas.
They address these needs and gaps in a way that no other agency or organization in the county can. Through contracts and the work of the Community Building Program Coordinator, the program's two VISTAs, NWGF provides funding and technical assistance to residents and agencies that are working to alleviate those gaps in service.
The membership of the Steering Committee is large and diverse. Individuals from four key stakeholder groups must be included as members: the U.S. Attorney for Montana, Michael Cotter; residents; Commissioners from the City of Great Falls and Cascade County; and representatives from the Great Falls Police Department and Cascade County Sheriff's Office.
Additional committee members include representatives of the Cascade County Attorney's office; the Chief Probation Officer, Youth Court Services, State of Montana; Great Falls Housing Authority, federal and state law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, housing organizations, recreation and employment agencies, schools, nonprofit and community organizations, religious institutions, foundations, small businesses and corporations. Other resident led groups include the Great Falls Neighborhood Councils and the Black Eagle Civic Club.
For a current list of Steering Committee members, please click here. The Steering Committee has three subcommittees: Crime & Safety, Community Revitalization, and the Transition Coalition. The Community Building program also staffs NeighborWorks Great Falls' Neighborhood Committee.