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"I love my community because..." Climate & Cultural Resilience postcard project (Image by Harry Connolly)

Our Aim

As an organization, Enterprise is on a mission to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging, and platforms for resilience and upward mobility for all. Our strategic priorities are to (1) increase the supply of quality homes that are affordable, (2) advance racial equity, and (3) build resilience and upward mobility.

Our Culture and Creativity team is demonstrating how the field and practice of community development can achieve these aims by placing culture, creativity, and healing at the center of community development practice.

Why culture, creativity and healing? A healing-centered approach is urgently needed in order to move the culture of community development to one that advances equitable practice and outcomes during this chapter of radical imagination and historical transformational change.

Why Enterprise? As a housing and community development intermediary, Enterprise is uniquely positioned to provide not only the tools for WHAT to do in order to increase the supply of affordable housing, but also to influence HOW development processes happen, which is imperative to achieving equitable results.

Our Approach

Harvest Festival in Baltimore Image provided by Bon Secours Unity Properties
Lancaster Ave Parklet, Philadelphia, PA (Image provided by People’s Emergency Center).

In order to center culture, creativity, and healing in community development, our team has created a framework for practice that is targeted specifically to the community development and affordable housing field of practitioners and collaborators.

We focus on building awareness and adoption of the Healing-Centered Framework through communications, training, and network-building. By providing a model for healing-centered community development, we grow the skills and confidence of practitioners and collaborators to incorporate these practices in their own organizations and communities.

As a result, a growing segment of the community development field will have a tangible, practical understanding of what healing-centered community development is, why it matters, and how to do it.

What We Do

  • Increase awareness of healing-centered community development by communicating the healing centered framework and related tools and resources
  • Increase capacity to implement a healing-centered approach by developing and sharing affiliated tools and resources for learning
  • Increase implementation of healing-centered practices by providing training and peer-learning opportunities for community development practitioners
  • Foster a culture of healing in community development by convening communities and networks committed to applying a healing-centered approach in community development and growing the community of practice for this approach

Our Impact

By centering culture and healing, our activities are designed to advance a future in which:

  • Practitioners in community development are equipped, prepared, and required to deploy practices that lead to increased equity and healing 
  • Systems and practices of community development align with and amplify the inherent strengths of the people and communities that are impacted
  • The culture of community development supports individual & collective healing from deep historical and ongoing disinvestment and racism 
  • The culture of community development and engagement contributes to trust and community healing, rather than harm, for residents
  • Residents experience increased levels of ownership and wellbeing
Youth dance performance in Athens, GA
Youth dance performance in Athens, GA (Image provided by Athens Land Trust)

What We Offer

Frameworks: The Healing-Centered Community Development Framework outlines how to apply a healing-centered approach to the work of community development. It outlines the context for why a healing-centered approach is essential to successful community development and defines core principles and strategies for centering healing. The Cultural Resilience Criterion provides guidance to developers on how to increase resilience in their projects through the incorporating resident-centered processes that honor local community and cultural assets. 
Learn more about the Healing-Centered Community Development Framework
Learn more about the Cultural Resilience Criterion & Templates

Tools & Resources for Practice: The tools and resources for practice, organized within our Healing-Centered Inventory, offer strategies for self-reflection as well as tactical materials relevant to what each practitioner needs for their own individual growth and success. Through targeted question sets, process guides, models for governance, and other practical documents and templates, the tools and resources for practice provide guidance and details on specific ways to apply a healing-centered approach to community development.
Learn more about Tools & Resources for Practice

Communities & Networks for Learning: In order to increase the successful integration and application of the healing-centered concepts and tools, it is essential to provide opportunities to practice and learn in community with others, and to strengthen the networks of individuals invested in these shared goals. Current cohorts we work with are SPARCC, Native Homeownership cohorts, HopeSF and The Enterprise Rose Fellowship. We periodically open opportunities to join cohorts, including through our Section 4 grant cycle.
To hear about opportunities to participate, sign up for the Design Matters newsletter

Spaces & Gatherings for Healing: Experiences that center practitioners’ wellbeing in a holistic way provide a powerful and lasting impact on the outcomes that community developers are able to achieve. This means providing them space to step away from the day-to-day concerns of their work in order to reconnect with their own sense of purpose, build a community of peers and likeminded individuals, and experience healing for themselves. They leave with new tools, relationships and ideas that reenergize them, their teams and organizations, and their work.
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