There are many methods you can use to identify needs in your community.
Here are just a few creative ideas:
- Draw your map (issue, root causes and effects on individuals and community).
- Consider the following questions:
-What are the issues facing your community?
-What are the root causes of this problem?
-What are the effects on the individuals and the community?
- Brainstorm project ideas.
- Evaluate and prioritize the project ideas.
- Focus on your top idea.
Conduct a Survey
- Ask young people what their greatest concerns are.
- Give them a list and have them rank their concerns.
Hold a Community Forum
- Have an open microphone to share community problems/dreams.
- Ask senior citizens about societal changes (for the best/worst). What are their greatest fears in the community? What are they proud of in your hometown?
- Throughout the week, ask people what they would wish for (given unlimited power/resources) if they were granted three wishes for their community.
- Keep a list of the dreams people share.
Watch the News
- What stories leave you feeling disturbed or unsettled? Cut out articles in the newspaper that make you sad or angry.
- Think of all the places you’ve been. What is your favorite city to visit? Why? How is that different from your hometown?
I Have a Dream
- Read Martin Luther King’s well-known speech.
- Think about your own personal/community dreams, and write them down somewhere.
- Does your town have a set of goals? What about your school/organization/neighborhood?
- Research and find out what the groups around you are trying to do.
- Look around – What special events are going on around town? What organizations/ businesses/schools are really struggling to reach their goals or keep up with society?
Ask Your Legislators
- Find out key issues at the forefront of the national agenda. What are the serious dangers that face our country and our world?
- Get a street map of your community, divide up the territory, and have group members search their area for needed improvements. Mark the “hot spots” on each map and discuss area needs.