Community Contact Work-project
The Community Contact Work project started in January 2009 within the City of Helsinki’s social services department. The project aims at improving the residents’ sense of everyday safety in the city, as well as assuring a pleasant living environment in the neighborhoods.
The project employs seven people in total: a project leader and six community contact workers. All the community contact workers have an educational background in social services and strong work experience with diverse client groups within different areas of social work. The community contact workers move on foot in their target neighborhoods (approximately 15 neighborhoods in Helsinki), in shopping centers and other public spaces, observing the environment, engaging in discussions with residents and intervening in possible disturbances by reconciling and talking. They convey real-time information concerning issues related to the neighborhoods or the city in general from the residents to the city and state officials and vice versa. The community contact work is focusing especially on homeless people and those who don’t reach the local amenities.
As part of the project, an Internet-based GIS-survey (Geographic Information System) was piloted in the spring of 2010, as a way for the residents to inform officials of their concerns or give feedback (positive and negative) about their neighborhood.
The goal is that residents:
- feel they are a part of their neighborhood and know their neighbors
- detect issues that may cause safety concerns in their neighborhood, as well as other problems which may cause dissatisfaction among the residents.
- consider potential solutions to the problems and how to improve the situation together with their neighbors and officials
- have a way to notify city officials and other officials of their concerns and feel that they are being heard concerning issues related to their neighborhood
- do not experience an unfounded sense of insecurity in their neighborhood or in the city
The project started in 2009 and is still running.
Last review: October 2017.