Community Building is Everyone's Business

Our belief is that community building is everyone's business.  Typically, that means that we design programs where the interests of the community, business, and government intersect with one another.

Most of our work begins by teaming with various governmental departments within the City of Chicago, such as Chicago Mayor Daley's Office, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Chicago Public Schools.

Then, we use collaborative approaches to bring key stakeholders together.  For example, in autumn 2006, Green Street Project partnered with Chicago Mayor Daley's Office to co-found the Community Building Initiative in order to help fulfill a mandate from Mayor Daley to build the capacity of community groups.  Over the next 18 monhts, we invited hundreds of civic, grassroots and business leaders to City Hall to attend town-hall-style meetings where we asked them how we could best support their community pursuits.

We Build Sustainable Programs

We define sustainability as "that which works."  To us, that means it has to work for all stakeholders and do no harm.

We like the concept of "give and get."   We aim for each stakeholder to "give"--so each has a greater sense of purpose; and "get"--so each is treated fairly for our contribution.  We like to build collaborations where everyone feels as though they got more than they gave.  We think these types of relationships are most sustainable, in that everyone maintains their participation because it is in their own best interest.

We treat the program itself as the final stakeholder.  If the program cannot provide enough value such that it generates resouces, it is not sustainable to us.