Start a Community Organization

A group of people standing in the middle of a circle.

Get Started

  • Identify a problem you want to solve (ex. crime; beautification)
  • A small-scale project works best initially. You want to have success, and a small doable project helps to ensure a positive outcome.
  • Talk with neighbors. Who feels the same?
  • Select a core group of participants. The core group does not need to be large.

Planning an Event

  • Identify one or two projects to address the issue you and the core group have agreed on.
  • Set up a meeting with the core group to discuss and finalize plans for the activity.
  • Announce to the neighbors the plan, date, and time of the activity.
  • Spread the word by all means-social media, telephone, flyers, door-to-door.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for help.
  • Give assignments based on what each team member enjoys doing or what they do best.

The Day of--

  • On the day of the event, be sure to supply the neighbors with the necessary tools and-or supplies to get the job done.
  • Encourage participants by making it a fun and productive day.
  • Keep morale high- have refreshments (sodas, water, snacks, etc.)

How Did It Go?

  • Have a meeting with the core neighbors to evaluate the activity.
  • The core group should assess the project based on its success or failure.
  • Was it unsuccessful? Try again by having another small event.
  • Was it successful? You may propel the group to a larger event.

Moving Forward

  • You now need to identify a formal leadership team.
  • This leadership team will be active participants in developing strategies, timetables, planning larger, more elaborate events.
  • Be sure to identify allies to the organization, including schools, local businesses, religious communities, local politicians, even social influencers. Get your local media involved in your projects and events.
  • Formalizing the organization is a positive step toward accepting donations.

Find Affordable Housing

America's affordable housing is disappearing. Everyone deserves a decent, safe, and sanitary place to live; however, much work needs to be done. NAN is focused on working in coalitions with advocates and the housing industry to make affordable neighborhood housing a reality. -Ricardo Byrd

A row of row houses on a street in baltimore.

Middle Neighborhoods

Their website describes middle neighborhoods as "On the edge between growth and decline, middle neighborhoods are generally affordable, stable, and safe." US News describes middle neighborhoods as "...There is a sweet spot between the heart of a city and suburb. "Middle neighborhoods" offer the right balance of urban amenities and elbow room. The problem is that current zoning laws and other standards make it extremely challenging to build these neighborhoods." discusses the Middle Neighborhoods Initiative, which brings attention to these neighborhoods across the country that have long been stable communities for middle and working-class families but that today are often teetering on edge between the growth of decline. Modest investments in middle neighborhoods can sustain them as safe, affordable communities that offer a high quality of life and access to new opportunities.

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Live Baltimore

A brick building with arched windows and a green door.

Whether looking to rent or buy a home in Baltimore, Maryland, Live Baltimore is a website complete with important information to help you accomplish your task. Baltimore City has over 278 diverse neighborhoods to help the home owner find just the right one. If looking for a neighborhood steeped in history, there is Upper Fell’s Point, Washington Hill, or Union Square. Maybe you’d prefer a location near the water, a kid-friendly area or a quiet strictly residential community. No matter your preference, Live Baltimore can assist.

A group of boats in the water at night.

Live Baltimore is a clearinghouse answering any question you may have on: how to find an affordable home, instructs on the complete home buying process, and buying vs. renting. Use the tools on the website to explore each neighborhood by name or geography, refine your search by cost or amenities with the “Filter Neighborhoods” tab. On the home page is the “Neighborhood Finder Tool” and finally, you can personalize your choices using the tab, “Perfect for Me.” Live Baltimore also provides “Things to Do,” “Community Organizations,” “Events,” “City Services,” and “Safety,” to name a few. For more information,

Additional Websites for Renting or Buying Homes:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

an official website of the US Government that provides information on all types of financial issues for both homeowners and renters.

DC Housing Search

a free online locator of housing for rent or for sale. The website is funded through the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The available resource page provides links to other District agencies and organizations offering guidance for home buyers, renters, landlords and property managers.

an official website of the US government that provides information and services assisting consumers searching for rental housing or looking to buy homes. There is further information on mortgages, moving, as well as, housing scams.