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Street Groups are like apple pie, or good friends, nobody is against them. That doesn't mean everyone will join or that setting up a street group is easy.
If you invite people to join a Street Group by putting a flier in the letterbox, about 2% to 4% will act on it. Most of the groups in the world have been developed that way, but the members come from a suburb or district, and not from a tight area like a street.
If you door-knock a street, people will respond with enthusiasm, 90% those same people will not translate that apparent support into any action that makes your job easy. Nobody will oppose what you are doing, but open support is also thin on the ground.
Nobody is against apple pie, but starting a street group is like getting everyone to make apple pie on the same day. It's possible but difficult.
In May 2010, after publicity of the success of a Street Group, 14 new groups were formed. 4 were completely independent from Street Groups Limited, and 10 accepted some help from us. (A little telephone counselling.)
Two groups have been partly successful. Both of those were developed by people who had previous experience in Community Support groups. However even then visiting all the houses in the street has proven difficult.
The rest are stuck with two or three members and are unable to get started because in our experience someone MUST knock the doors and talk to people.
If you have the background and the confidence to do that, here is a help page.
You can get some help from Street Groups Limited. We will help create an online group for you, and give you some online advice and help. Talk to us about that.
Street Groups Limited in currently actively building some Christchurch Street Groups. We are learning how to do this in an efficient way. It's impossibly expensive to call on every house multiple times until people have confidence enough to act on their invitations. There are two ways forward.
One: let the group grow slowly over 2-3 years with minimal effort except quietly talking to people and putting out another flier every few months.
Two: Work hard to get a quick buy-in by lots of people aiming to get about 50% of the street into the initial group quickly. This is what we hope can happen.
In Christchurch and Canterbury, Street Groups Limited is available to actively campaign to get your Street Group started.
In other centers, the key is to find and train someone or several people to knock the doors and sell the concept. We need to find a way to fund that work. If you have any ideas about who the potential funding partners might be, please contact us.
John S Veitch
Street Groups Limited