Coming Together for Change: A Qualitative Study of the 'Love Your Block' Program

Coming Together for Change: A Qualitative Study of the 'Love Your Block' Program

The Cities of Service Love Your Block program — a three-year initiative supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service and Bloomberg Philanthropies that was designed to help mayors engage low-income residents in community-revitalization efforts — did in fact help strengthen social cohesion among residents, a report from the Urban Institute finds. The report, Coming Together for Change: A Qualitative Study of Social Connectedness Outcomes Produced by the Love Your Block Program (pages, PDF), evaluated the outcomes of the program, which deployed two AmeriCorps members per grantee city to lead planning and implementation teams in targeted neighborhoods. Funded by Cities of Service, the report found that cities participating in the program saw improvements in social connectedness, public safety, and community ownership of public spaces, while neighborhood team members increased their social capital and forged connections with city officials in ways likely to help them pursue goals and projects in the future.