Community is a place where all should belong. Communities are as diverse as the individuals who occupy them. No two communities are the same given the unique collection of individuals within. Everyone has offerings to contribute, and these contributions make communities stronger and more inclusive.
Community Connections is a process that connects citizens to their community, in hopes of developing long-lasting friendships, by utilizing strength-based practices to promote individual and community growth. This growth is achieved through training and educational support specific to the individual, which uncovers a person’s skills, strengths, interests, and unique talents. The intention is the service will fade over time, as able. Activities of Community Connections may include, but are not limited to:
- Identification of skills, strengths, interests, and talents
- Exploration of potential activities and places where the individual can share talents
- Identification and preparation of community environments that are welcoming
- Encouragement of participation in activities that provide an opportunity for development of long-lasting relationships
- Creation of opportunities for small successes in order to build confidence and an increased desire to share talents
- Education on reciprocity, citizenship, and relationships
Meet David*, a young man who is resilient and motivated. David had recently moved into an apartment in a new community. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) helped him find a job he loves and takes great pride in. Even though he enjoyed his coworkers, David informed his team he wanted to get to know people his own age and who had similar interests. Considering he was shy and in a new community, he struggled to find friends on his own. David wanted more.
His team connected him to a contracted provider who learned more about his interest in gaming, videos, and reading. Together they explored places in his community that shared those same activities. After four months, David was excited to inform his team that for the first time in his life he has a friend who isn’t paid, and that he was invited to his very first cookout. David is grateful for the help he received, as it helped him come out of his shell and develop some real friendships. He wanted more, and he got it!
*Names are changed to protect identity.
Commonunity® is built from the belief that everyone deserves the right to contribute to community and actively participate in full citizenship. Community connections foster unity in the common good for all where everyone can consider: How can I be part of the whole?