Each and every day, we have the privilege of seeing the tangible impact of our Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) efforts in the Greater Malibu Groves community. This March, our team took their passion, experience and insights far beyond Central Florida at the Habitat for Humanity International Affiliate Conference in Atlanta.

Habitat International invited Abigail Lemay, Director of Community Impact for Habitat Orlando & Osceola, and Cynthia Harris, Chairperson of the Greater Malibu Groves Community Conversations, to present as part of a workshop on the future of Neighborhood Revitalization, sharing how this work goes well beyond home repairs.

Neighborhood Revitalization Beyond Home Repairs

Home repairs meet a critical need in the community by enabling residents to stay in their affordable homes. The next step into true Neighborhood Revitalization? That comes when a Habitat affiliate engages residents to address community needs and lead transformative changes to improve their neighborhood. 

This approach to community development is highly collaborative. And Habitat Orlando & Osceola has been partnering to solve complex community issues alongside residents of Greater Malibu Groves for several years now. Our team works with residents to build community pride, foster communication between neighbors, beautify the neighborhood and improve quality of life.

Abby and Cynthia brought all of these experiences and insights to bear during their presentation. They shared with Habitat affiliates from all over the world who were interested in strengthening their Neighborhood Revitalization program. The workshop was high-energy, with attendees fully engaged during and after the presentation with questions about bringing NR to their community.

Finding your voice through NR

When asked about her biggest takeaway from the week, Abby shared that, “The people we serve must have a voice in our work. Sometimes organizations are so focused on the big picture and solving the world’s problems, that we forget to take the simple starting step that makes the work easier: we need to ask people what they need instead of assuming we already know. Being able to help folks discover their voices is the spirit of NR.”

Congratulations on a job well done to Abby, Cynthia and the rest of the NR team!