How to Develop an "At Risk" Community

Ultimately our goal to build a good life does not simply exist on its own, but is also part of the goals of others to build a good life, and part of the goal to build a good and improving community and community of communities.


  1. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 1
    Become exposed to the issues involved in at-risk communities. Learn about at-risk communities in both developed nations as as well as in under-developed countries. Take a class or doing some research or discussion.
  2. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 2
    Actually visit a program that serves a local or accessible at-risk community,or an at-risk community that you are interested in.
  3. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 3
    Volunteer (and bring a friend along). Volunteering often involves mundane and simple activities, but these mundane and simple activities are the very things that are vital and missing from that community and contribute to it being at-risk. Take the task with an element of humility and a vision of the larger purpose and plan. Cherish the individuals that you are affecting through your direct efforts.
  4. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 4
    Learn about being in and then later leading a small group of people, maybe first in discussions, and then in actually also volunteering.
  5. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 5
    Purposefully develop relationships with people of different cultures and social classes (both higher and lower). Push your comfort zones.
  6. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 6
    Mentor, advice, and shrewdly give either to an adult or a young student (maybe through a school program) from the at risk community and pass on life lessons that have helped you succeed. (Introduce them to wikiHow!) Adjust those lessons to make sense and work in their specific situation. Be their biggest fan in both their own goals and in their implementing of your advice.
  7. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 7
    Mentor, advice, and shrewdly give to a few more individuals from that community. Each individual will have their own outlook and set of circumstances. The learning and exchange process may even be very mutual. But eventually you may be able to coach one or more these persons to help and then co-mentor with you. Your efforts will begin to multiply!
  8. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 8
    With one or more of these individuals, start or improve a community garden, playground, small library, or community house or center, or computer lab. Introduce a Habitat for Humanity project into the neighborhood.
  9. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 9
    Develop a weekly event that people of the community can attend, have fun at, and benefit from. Develop their social network. Start a community watch from this, if there isn't one already.
  10. Image titled Develop an "At Risk" Community Step 10
    As you develop relationships with individuals who are in equal or higher social classes, introduce your love for at-risk communities, and introduce them to the friends you've made from there. Provide them with the incentives that you gained (progress, excitement, appreciation, etc) in order to encourage them to join or support your efforts with regular time or financial support, or with their work expertise. Time and money are both necessary resources to develop individuals, families, and communities.


  • As with anything else, be prepared for set-backs, boredom, and thanklessness. But these are temporary and trivial compared to the level of progress, excitement, and appreciation that will come through a variety of people over the next several years.
  • Remember that your efforts may not be alone. Even if you cannot continue to watch or guide specific individuals as long as you would like, realize that other individuals and programs may intersect their lives as well and help them build what you at started to help them with.
  • The related wikiHow articles found at the bottom of both How to Be Organized and How to Be a Good Parent include a slew of how-to skills that would be beneficial.


  • Learn rules of safety in dangerous neighborhoods. Learn from formal writings by local government agencies and online. In addition, learn from the individuals you get to know in the neighborhood.
  • Sometimes you will need to Deal With Impossible People.
  • Do not give large amounts of money or expensive items to individuals or families that you do not know well. Make sure they know how to be responsible with the resources (financial or otherwise) that you might give them. Teach them basic budgeting, legal, organizational or computer skills that you might have taken as granted.
  • Show extra courtesy and respect in what you do and say when engaging in a culture you are not a part of in order to cover any mistakes of ignorance you might (and probably will) make.

Things You'll Need

  • Time
  • Money
  • Personal expertise
  • A heart eager to grow and comfort zones ready to be stretched.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Volunteer and Community Service