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How to Revitalize Your City

To look at how to revitalize a city, investigate the ways various organizations and communities around the country have achieved this objective. People working together toward a common goal get more accomplished.

East St. Louis, IL

In East St. Louis, Illinois, university students, professors and residents worked together in getting rid of crack houses by painting rundown buildings, creating parks and putting up a farmer's market. Additionally, they got city officials to do something about code violations in buildings with truant landlords.

San Carlos and Coachella, CA

San Carlos, California has volunteers from many parts of the community, from high school to the senior center offering tutoring and recreational activities to children in grades K-3. This early involvement is anticipated to raise the self-esteem of neighborhood children and steer them away from gang activities later in life. The Police Employee's Association in Coachella, California taught bicycle repair to volunteers. After that, youngsters deemed at risk were given bicycles in exchange for 10 hours of community service.

Kansas City, MO and Kokomo, IN

In Kansas City, Missouri, three block leaders provided field trips, parent education, homework help and snacks to families responding to their flyers. Kokomo, Indiana residents formed a partnership between St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center and local churches to put together a volunteer training program to offer respite care. During its initial year, the program served 100 people via 40 volunteers.

Chino Hills, Monterey Park and Palm Desert, CA

Chino Hills, California volunteers came together in the Seniors Assisted by Visiting Volunteers and Youth (SAVVY) program. This group aids home-bound residents and senior citizens by running errands, helping with day-to-day duties and providing friendship. Going into the next stage of this plan, their goal is to get volunteers from youth organizations to help with minor home repairs, yard maintenance and cleaning. One hundred volunteers in Monterey Park California taught English as a second language to 300 residents. Residents of Palm Desert, California created a walking program. More than 160 individuals joined in these activities, two-thirds of them say they work out more and half of them say they are more energetic.

People all over the country are developing ideas to help out their communities. These ideas are as simple as kind gestures to more elaborate community projects, but all work to revitalize the local city.