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Research & Policy

Building communities from the inside out: A path toward finding and mobilizing a community's assets
John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight

The authors assert that human services systems attempt to provide what is lacking in a community rather than support and enhance a community's capacities. They illustrate the success of community-based services that derive from "assets-based community development," a philosophy that concentrates on the strengths, capacities, and natural supports of the community, rather than adopting a more traditional "deficiencies and needs" approach.

The role of service agencies should be to help residents build on their assets and to support a community's efforts at self-sufficiency. Emphasizing the strengths of community-based services, individuals, local organizations, and local institutions, the guide outlines a step-by-step approach to implementing asset-based community building. It provides information on economic issues, planning procedures, and nonprofit management.

ACTA Publications
4848 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
(800) 397-2282 or (312) 271-1030
Fax (312) 271-7399
(1993, 375 pp.; $15 prepaid)


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Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.