Community Engagement Program
The Community Engagement Program is an initiative of Home for All designed to experiment with the most up-to-date forms of community engagement in select communities within San Mateo County.
New Supplement Available from September 2020: Technology Tools for Virtual Engagement
The Community Engagement Program is an initiative of Home for All that uses inclusive and innovative community engagement strategies in communities within San Mateo County.
With the goal of engaging a wider audience of community members in creating a vision towards their a livable community, this Program has been designed as a collaborative learning exchange. This framework can help inform community engagement efforts in other cities and towns in San Mateo County and beyond.
The Community Engagement Resource Manual consists of various phases to encourage broader participation in housing conversations in cities and towns. An overview of each phase with resources is discussed in depth in the following sections.
Local governments are often seen as the primary entity responsible for “solving” housing challenges. Reframing this thinking to center the issue and identify local government as one of many actors that can help address the issue, leads to constructive engagement and collaborative solutions.
Making progress on housing requires new approaches – new participants and perspectives – to create a positive and more inclusive environment for housing decisions. Using interactive outreach that is attentive to the community’s starting points will help you engage a broader range of perspectives, listen for prevailing narratives in your community, and understand how the community is experiencing shortage of housing.
Community conversations promote dialogue among community members with varying perspectives while decision makers listen to the diverse experiences of their constituents. Offering community members, elected officials and city staff this participatory and learning-oriented conversation is central to successful engagement.
Following the primary engagement phase, how do you make sure that the time and energy invested in developing a larger audience of more informed and engaged community continues to pay dividends? A City’s housing solutions will be supported by a series of conversations over the next several years. Keeping in contact with the community is essential to sustaining momentum.