Starting and sustaining a neighbourhood house is a unique, distinguishable process compared to starting other types of non-profit organizations. Neighbourhood houses are different as they exist solely for and of the community. They exist as part of an ongoing dialogue within neighbourhoods and between neighbours with the central focus being to strengthen community ties and provide needed services and resources in order to enrich the community. A neighbourhood house is about grassroots: collaborative discussions with the goal of community capacity building. Neighbourhood house programming is defined by, and exists solely for the benefit of the community. Through a distinctively “bottomup” approach, starting a neighbourhood house allows for a meaningful, place-based strategy that takes the needs of the people in the neighbourhood into primary consideration. Our vision is to create vibrant communities empowered to play an active role in society, supported by their neighbours and community organizations to help residents lead healthy, full lives.
The start a neighbourhood house toolkit outlines in detail each step towards starting and sustaining a neighbourhood house developed through the voice of the people. This hands-on manual is designed to outline the major steps in starting and sustaining a neighbourhood house in a clear, concise way that allows information to be available to anyone who needs it.