Disabled, General or Disability unspecified
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
ECM Work Days take place every other Saturday from early April through late October, as well as select Sundays during the year and every Tuesday and Thursday during the months of June and July. The Work Days provide opportunities for volunteers and neigborhood residents to work together on exterior home and neighborhood improvement projects, identified through a door to door survey that takes place two weeks prior to the scheduled Work Day. Project leaders are identified to connect directly with the residents in the two weeks between the Survey Day and the Work Day. On the Work Days, all participating volunteer groups meet at the community host for the day where an overview of ECM is provided, groups split up, and head out to the proejct sites from there. Lunch is a time for all volunteers and residents to come together and share a meal, and the work continues into the afternoon, whenever the projects are completed. Projects include fixing fences, graffiiti removal, painting, trimming bushes and small trees, and yard work. While residents and volunteers work side by side throughout the day, relationships are formed and community connections are established.
There are many ways to witness evidence of ECM's success, but some of the main ways are when neighbors who have lived next door to each other for 10+ years finally learn each other's names, when residents want to get involved in their own community and help others, when people take the initiative to plan a block party or other community event so they can get to know their neighbors, when volunteers identify other needs a family has outside of the ECM project and continue to work with that family to help. Some of ECM's success isn't always apparent though because once connections are made and relationships formed, people take the initiative to make great things happen from there.