Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

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Practicing Mutual Support

Posted by meganmoriarty on November 9, 2009

miguel -- with his character description This week at the Neighbor Corps session, we went door knocking. But before we headed out to the Peppertree Farm Apartments in Aspen Hill, we spent the morning practicing. We went over the forms to fill out after having a conversation, what information to leave with residents, where to refer neighbors in crisis…a lot of “technical” stuff.

To make sure we didn’t get caught up with those details and forget the less tangible part of a door knock, we also did an exercise to practice providing mutual support. We stole this idea from the training Ray, Frankie, Noelle and Sebastian did in Long Branch two weeks ago 🙂

We gave each Neighbor Corps participant a “character” — one side of the paper had their needs and the other side showed what they had to offer the community. They had 10 minutes to talk to each other and figure out what matches they could make. For example, Miguel (pictured above) was looking for a job and he found a neighbor who had a lead for him. He also connected with a young man trying to start a basketball league — which worked out well because Miguel’s two children want to start playing.

While this was a contrived situation, nearly everyone was able to make a mutual connection — one in which they both contributed and received. Now we hope to continue this type of matchmaking in the community!


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