What is a Block Club?
A block club is composed
of neighbors that come
together to discuss the
conditions of the block
and potential problem
It is also an opportunity
to develop relationships
and hold social events.
Other purposes of block
neighborhood safety and
How can forming a block
club help you?
Improve the physical and safety environment of the neighborhood
Eliminate negative influences in the neighborhood
Improve health, safety, physical, and economic standards of residents,
through work with government departments and other agencies
Develop a spirit of cooperation and social interaction amongst residents
Knowing your neighbors and creating a sense of community
How to Form A Block Club
It only takes two or more people.
Organize a way to contact other people on the block
You can set up communication channels such as posters,
flyers, and announcements in the community or church
First block club meeting, personal contact is best.
Only a few dedicated people are needed to get your
group started. Make decisions on where to start.
Contact your District Manager to acquire a block club
application and register with the City of Detroit
Do we need a name for our block club?
A name will give your block club a presence.
It can be as simple as naming it after your street, or a
more creative name can be decided upon.
Strategies to deal with challenging
neighbors & attitudes
In the process of inviting your neighbors to your first Block Club
meeting, it might be possible that one or two of your neighbors will
respond negatively to the idea.
Don’t be discouraged and don’t take it personally! They just need a
little more convincing about the benefits of neighbors coming together
as a group.
These are some responses that you could use to address a less than
enthusiastic response to the idea of a neighborhood block club.
Comments /Typical Responses
Their comment: “Organizing a Block Club? That’s a great idea, but it’ll never work
in this neighborhood. The neighbors don’t even know each other.”
Your response: “That’s the problem and a Block Club is the solution! How can you
solve problems if you don’t know your neighbors well enough to work together on
issues that affect all of us in the neighborhood?”
Their comment: “I don’t want to get involved and be a nosy neighbor.”
Your response: “Many people have discovered that getting involved doesn’t mean
being nosy; it means being concerned for your neighbors and your neighborhood.”
Their comment: “We don’t have any crime in our area. This is a nice, quiet
Your response: “Organizing a Block Club can keep it that way. A close knit
neighborhood is a safe neighborhood. It can be helpful in addressing other
neighborhood concerns as well.”
Their comment: “We will always have crime in our neighborhood. There is nothing
we can do about it.”
Your response: “We will always have crime but a Block Club brings people together
so that we don’t feel alone when bad things happen. Together we can work on
these problems and together we share our concerns as one voice with the police or
Their comment: “I just don’t have time to be involved.”
Your response: “We do not need to meet very often…just once a month…in order
to be effective as a group. These meetings will only last 1 to 1½ hours.”
What kinds of projects can be
done by the block club?
Projects can include (but are not
Compiling a contact list of
residents and owners on the
block; cleaning up a problem
Creating a community garden
or flower garden
Having a block picnic for
Delivering newsletters and
Having the police or guest
speaker meet with your block
Where to Start
The actual boundaries of the organization could possibly be
only half of a block, one side of the block, both sides of the
street facing each other, both sides facing the alley, or
even a single apartment building.
The boundaries will depend on such factors as how large is
the block, the population density, size of available meeting
places, and the nature of the problems in the
For example, if your problems center on alley up-keep, you
might want to organize residents on both sides of the alley.
The group should be large enough to tackle your problems
with some assurance of success, but not so large that there
is little chance for people to get to know one another, let
alone trade ideas.
Where to Start Contd.
Once you decide the boundaries, you should proceed to
contact everyone who lives in those boundaries including,
owners, renters, newcomers and seniors.
Send out a letter to residents stating the agreed upon block
All the residents will depend on each other for the
enforcement of these standards.
For example, even those persons who don’t comply with
such things as cutting their grass, putting trash in the
proper storage containers or keeping up the exterior of
their property should be contacted to participate.
Only by getting everyone to cooperate can others be
influenced and persuaded to conform to the wishes of the
rest of the neighbors.
Where to Meet
Resident’s Back Yard
East Side Community
The First Meeting
Come up with a temporary President to run the 1st Meeting
Set an Agenda
Invite a speaker from an already established and successful
neighborhood organization to describe how their group got
started and some of the possibilities for your group.
Elect officers (usually a president, vice-president,
secretary and treasurer) for a temporary period, such as
Appoint temporary special committees such as:
Constitution and by-laws committee, membership
committee, complaint/investigation committee, etc.
Set a time and place for the next meeting. Notification of
members is usually the responsibility of the Secretary.
Responsibility of a Block Club
The Block Club Captain is the club’s link
to law enforcement.
Responsible for coordinating information
with the police and the community
Liaison Officer as well as information to
be distributed to the club members.
Developing a phone tree and a
neighborhood map as well as organizing
and planning future meetings.
This may include getting a speaker to
attend a meeting and give a presentation
on a topic pertinent to your community.
Oversee the planning of Block Club
Encourage all neighbors to be alert in
the neighborhood and report suspicious
Fun Community Building
Movie or card party night
Kids parties or activities
Create a neighborhood
Citizen patrols on Halloween
Specially designed outreach
to address a crime issue and
measure community response
Exchange of services-
babysitting, fix-ups, snow
Guest speakers-police officer,
locksmith, council member,
Crime Prevention Through
landscaping or exterior home
planting or vacant lot
Cleanups that include not
only debris but graffiti,
alleys, leaf raking, lawn
Walking Block Meetings or a
“Walk Against Violence”
Problem Solving Strategies
The practice of solving neighborhood issues and
concerns is the responsibility of all involved within the
Block Club. No one person should take it upon
himself/herself to resolve all issues all the time. This is
a team concept, use the entire team. The following are
useful steps that could assist in resolving a problem.
1. Identify concerns
3. Recognize underlying causes
4. Create a plan
5. Act upon decisions
6. Evaluate results