We are here to help each other
In our everyday work, we have witnessed the unfailing truth that every person has a God-given ability to contribute—to be an important part of building a stronger and better community.
But too often we focus on some of our neighbors’ deficits rather than their assets and abilities to bring about the very improvements to our cities and neighborhoods that we all hope to see. Our lives are connected and so the instability of one family creates instability among each of us. But, the opposite is equally true—that the stability of one family creates stability among each of us.
Unfortunately, most poverty alleviation strategies focus on either (a) the poor taking on greater personal responsibility or (b) in providing more aid & assistance. But these approaches can divide us. They separate us into those who take, and those who give. But, at The Neighbor Project, we believe in a third way. TNP does not distribute aid or a social service. Instead we provide a financial model and financial tools that allow those stuck in a cycle of financial instability to become the central players of a growth solution that benefits the entire community.
Dr. Steven Mainard Caliendo, author of “Inequality in America: Race, Poverty and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise,” explains the concept of “Social Capital” by asking, “How much do I have a stake in seeing my neighbor be prosperous and successful? How interconnected do I feel?” He goes on to explain that “In this country we pay taxes to support schools even if we don’t have kids. The idea is that my community is a better place if the people around me have an education. That’s one form of Social Capital.” With regard to TNP’s Networked Savings program, Dr. Caliendo continues, “The Neighbor Project’s vision is a version of that. It’s completely voluntary. There’s no taxation. There’s no government involvement. This is individuals saying to other individuals, ‘I choose to invest in you.’ This is a model that says, ‘if I can make your life better, then that makes my life better too, because you and I are connected. We live in the same world’. It is neither Liberal nor Conservative, Democratic nor Republican. It’s human. It’s loving. It’s smart and it works.” (See Dr. Caliendo explain more below)
Our model includes everyone. Because we’re all in this together. The idea of shared destiny is foundational to our approach and central to our identity. If I can help a neighbor buy a house and succeed, that helps me too because strong & stable neighbors create strong and stable neighborhoods.
The only way forward is together. Join us.