The Neighborfest Program | empowersf.org
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The Neighborfest Program

Welcome to the online home of Neighborfest – The World’s Best Block Party!

One of the best things about living in a great neighborhood is getting to know the folks around you and building strong friendships.  In addition to feeling more connected, these relationships can be invaluable when something unexpected issue comes along.  From needing to borrow a cup of milk to having someone keep an eye on your home when you are on vacation, being surrounded by people you can trust can make a huge difference in your quality of life.

 

These kind of relationships just don’t happen and one has to create opportunities to connect with their neighbors and spend time getting to know each other.  One popular way to build these connections is to host a block party.

 

The NEN’s Neighborfest Program, a key component of the Strong Block Program, offers participants an easy to use playbook that help them produce the best block party ever – but also acquire the skills, relationships and resources to support their neighbors during times of stress.

 

The 2019 Neighborfest Host Playbook – Our latest Playbook was produced in partnership with The Earthquake Country Alliance and Livable City with funding from Cal OES.  Check it out by downloading it  here…

IMPORTANT UPDATE: In 2020, the NEN partnered with The University of San Francisco’s Master of Public Health Program to conduct an assessment of the Neighborfest Program’s contribution to its participants’ ability to support their neighbors while the sheltered in place during the lockdown.  To our relief, the data was very positive. Below is the the topline data, read the full report here.

 

Pre-Event Capacity Building Benefit

81% of hosts believed that Neighborfest significantly elevated the level of social cohesion within their communities. 

100% of hosts believed that the relationship building component of Neighborfest made it easier to identify neighbors that either needed help or could help those around them while they shelterer in place during COVID-19 

86% of hosts felt that Neighborfest did enhance their community’s preparedness for the COVID-19 SIP orders.

80% of hosts felt that Neighborfest was effective in preparing hosts to assemble teams for COVID-19

 

Response Capacity Building Benefit

86% of  hosts reported that they initiated response in their neighborhoods.

48% of hosts provided support on a weekly basis

27% of hosts provided support as needed.

76% of hosts reported that they felt prepared for every situation that they encountered when In addressing the needs of their neighbors

71% of hosts knew of others in their community who initiated a response – Out of these hosts, 87% reported connecting and collaborating with those community members to respond to needs during COVID-19 SIP.

62% of hosts reported identifying new local resources while the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders were in effect.

To learn more about the power of the Neighborfest Program:

  • Read the Report for the 2018 Neighborfest Program here…
  • Read an article written by Prof. Daniel Aldrich, world renowned expert on community disaster resilience and NEN Director Daniel Homsey here…
  • Listen to KQED discuss Heat Waves and the Neighborfest Program here…
  • Review the sections below which provide deeper details about the program and its benefits to the community

Program Overview

The Neighborfest Program provides participants with step by step guidance for producing the world’s greatest block party.  In addition to finding key resources and learning how to work as a team, the host committee also increases the overall level of social cohesion and connectivity on the block so that during times of stress neighbors can help those that need help the most.

Program Impacts

  • Strengthen the host’s capacity to organize a team at the block level that can mobilize and perform tasks such as mass feeding after a disaster
  • Increases the level of social cohesion amongst residents
  • Advances the overall resilience of the block with:
    • the implementation of an asset mapping exercise
    • the distribution of preparedness materials
    • the acquisition of a cache of disaster response supplies
  • Improves the level of connection between the first responder community and residents

Program Benefits

  • Residents/Hosts
    • Financial – Substantially reduces the cost for hosting the block party
    • Social – Increased connection among their surrounding neighbors
    • Capacity – Enhanced ability to organize teams of volunteers to design and implement a event
    • Disaster Readiness – Increased capacity to work together and support the vulnerable in their community
    • Equipment – The receive a cache of supplies they can us to help themselves before professional help arrives
  • Stakeholder Organizations
    • Identification of, and streamlined access to, local leaders who can convene local residents
    • Distribution of communication materials to residents in a culturally competent environment
    • Increased connectivity levels at the community level that can be repurposed downstream for other engagement/outreach activities
    • A reduction in cost and staff time to organize and engage residents
    • Important face time with hard to reach constituents (i.e. mono lingual / senior & access and functional needs)

2018 Neighborfest Partners and Supporters

               

For more on the Neighborhood Empowerment Network and its approach for advancing community disaster resilience, visit here…

Watch NEN Director Daniel Homsey’s presentation on the NEN here …

Watch Prof. Daniel Aldrich’s presentation on the Power of Social Cohesion here…

For more information on Neighborhood Empowerment Network and / or Neighborfest please email Daniel.Homsey@sfgov.org

Neighborhood Empowerment Network is a cross sector cohort of city-wide resident leaders, community & faith based organizations, city agencies, private sector stakeholders, academic and philanthropic institutions that align their expertise, programs, technical and financial resources to advance the development of tools, resources and methods that empower communities to strengthen their capacity to advance their resilience goals.