What Are the Different Types of Community Development Programs?

Autumn Rivers

Most community development programs aim to improve the lives of the residents in a particular area in various ways. One common example of such a program is one that helps adults learn the skills they will need to enter the workforce. Many communities also feature programs that focus on the health of residents, educating people on the importance of staying at a healthy weight or obtaining preventive health care. Another type of program concentrates on the safety of people in the community, seeking to remove them from dangerous situations.

Community development programs can help families to emerge from extreme poverty.
Community development programs can help families to emerge from extreme poverty.

Some people are unemployed and cannot feed their families, which is why there are community development programs focused on improving work skills. The premise of this type of program is that starting at the root of the problem may reduce the need for other types of programs, such as those that help residents pay utilities, get free food or save money on housing. Programs that focus on teaching job skills to residents also may offer help finding job positions that need to be filled, whether temporarily or long-term. The result is often that more residents are employed than before, which can lead to better economic development for the entire region and possibly enticing other jobs and employees to the area.

Community development programs may be funded to design different public spaces.
Community development programs may be funded to design different public spaces.

There also are community development programs that focus on improving the health of residents. For example, some areas feature centers that educate residents on the importance of staying at an ideal weight to avoid adding to the obesity epidemic. Others seek not only to educate but to make sure that those who cannot afford health care receive it. They may distribute certain vaccinations to residents free or at a reduced price, offer free dental check-ups, or provide advice on losing weight in a healthy way. Additionally, many community development programs focus on ensuring that the area’s children and elderly, in particular, get regular health care, because these groups are often considered the most likely to get seriously ill.

Community development organizations often organize free training courses so professionals can gain valuable skills.
Community development organizations often organize free training courses so professionals can gain valuable skills.

Community development programs also sometimes strive to improve the safety of residents. For instance, they may try to reduce the number of homeless people in the area by ensuring that those in need of housing can get it at a reduced rate or at least have access to shelter. They also might try to get residents out of dangerous situations that may involve domestic violence, drugs or other crimes. Such community development programs often try to educate residents while also offering a place to stay, a number to call or other resources that may help improve bad situations.

Sports programs geared toward at-risk youth are an example of community development projects.
Sports programs geared toward at-risk youth are an example of community development projects.
Community development programs could focus on education issues, such as literacy.
Community development programs could focus on education issues, such as literacy.

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