Community resources are any number of things that you might take for granted from day to day but that improve your quality of life in some way. According to the University of Kansas’ Community Tool Box, traditional community resources are organizations with a focus on assisting members of the community. However, the reality is, community resources are much more than that. Businesses, individuals and even structures all can be considered community resources as they help make your area a nicer place to live. Community resources can be funded by federal, state or local grants, although many resources get a majority of funding directly from the community itself or from private grants.
Without community outreach programs, whole segments of a community’s population could fall by the wayside or get caught up in endless bureaucratic red tape before receiving the assistance they need. Outreach programs help at-risk youth, those escaping domestic violence, people in need of substance-abuse treatment or the homeless, for example. Often largely staffed by volunteers, many community outreach programs start at the grassroots level to help people in immediate need of assistance. Sometimes, community outreach programs help bridge the gap between need and the avenue to obtain it. By helping members of the community file appropriate paperwork or obtain other assistance, people can get the aid they need without having to navigate the often-complicated process alone.
Businesses aren't often thought of as being community resources, but they are. Think about it. If a community had no businesses, its residents would have a more difficult time purchasing necessities such as food or accessing needed services. Without businesses, a community’s economic growth prospect is low, and it will be less likely to attract young families or job opportunities. Businesses also provide a community with a quality of life. For instance, a community with sidewalk cafes could encourage people to walk and meet their neighbors.
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Contribution from Individuals
One of the greatest community resources is also the one most likely to be taken for granted: its residents. Community members often are the unsung heroes who strengthen a community by volunteering time, money and resources to organize events, host food or blood drives, coach youth sports teams or spearhead neighborhood watch groups. Without people taking an active interest in their community, things such as crime or juvenile delinquency can run rampant and take over an area, decreasing the quality of life.
Other Community Resources
Hospitals, libraries, law-enforcement substations, social clubs and recreation centers also are examples of community resources. These facilities offer services for the betterment and, oftentimes, safety of the community.