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Residents Take Pride!: Rebuilding Richmond CA., From the Inside.

Richmond's collective of successful business people collaborate with local charity groups to make Richmond a "self-sustained" city.

Photo of Rodney Woodson
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Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

This idea will benefit the entire community of Richmond, from local to corporate businesses and business owners, to the poverty-stricken homeless. Richmond's unique circle of successful friends and colleagues; college presidents and administrators and former pro athletes, will invest in businesses to create jobs specifically for the youth. They will help promote care and outreach to get people off the streets, and employ them, or find them employment elsewhere.

How is your idea specifically using the power of communities to improve financial opportunities and resources?

It will be 100% community run and operated. Not only will community members be meeting and interacting primarily, only with Richmond residents, the entire operation will operate out of Richmond. Those who have been successful financially will offer financial mentorship to members, as well as promoting higher education, and career/future building. over time, the success of the program will inspire people to invest in themselves and their community, creating a sense of financial responsibility.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Step 1. Find a candidate — Search local centers that provide job search help for someone willing to receive outside help finding a job. Step 2. Find a local business. — Contact businesses in the area, preferably a self-owned business, willing to hire a qualified individual, down on their luck seeking employment. Step 3. Over a 6 Mo. Span, Coach 'em up, track it —Use our network to provide financial advice to the individual during his work. —Promote and expose advancing opportunities

What skills, input or guidance might you be seeking from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I am curious to know of programs such as this, that may have been tried, or are in progress around the world that someone may personally be familiar with. What are some aspects of the operations of the program that may or may not have worked? Can a small group (15-20 people) of financially sound locals in a primarily low-income area have success against a gentrification in progress, in your experience or opinion? Does this seem realistic? Why or Why not?

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

Here is a link to a video from Richmond Main Street, an organization aimed at rebuilding the once vibrant downtown Richmond area.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Maddie Wiener

Hey Rodney, I love this idea and how you've connected so many different players in a community. There have been several ideas that are similar to yours in that they engage various actors and use the inherent strengths of a community to teach others. You should check out ShareFi:

You should also check out The Financial Buddy System:

Both of these ideas have sparked great conversation. Would love to see you involved. Based off of your insights in this post, you could be quite beneficial to their conversations!

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