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How to set up a Mutual Aid neighborhood group: A resource list

It is amazing to see the amount of action happening across New York City, around the United States, and globally on setting up local support groups so neighbors can support each other through COVID-19.

Groups might be:

  • building or street-level groups
  • neighborhood groups
  • boroughs-level networks (made up of neighborhood groups)
  • existing community groups that want to offer mutual aid services to their constituents and members.

The following resources are compiled from around the country and can be used to:

  • help groups set up,
  • use tech, tools and templates to manage groups
  • connect with best practices from other mutual aid groups.

Please note, we haven’t fully vetted all of these resources. We know groups are looking for resources to help set up and run groups, so we have compiled this list of resources we know of. We hope to provide more specific Mutual Aid NYC resources in the future, and will post them to this blog as they are developed, but in the meantime, we hope some of these are useful.

Setting up a group

(After reading these suggestions, if you decide you do not want to create a mutual aid group or there already is one you can join, and you still want to help out in other ways, consider looking up the Help with Covid site: https://helpwithcovid.com/)

Tech tools for ongoing management of your group

Mapping tools

  • MutualAidNYC’s mapping team is focused on building new features to make the map on our website more interactive and useful. To make feature suggestions, send us a message on the Mutual Aid NYC slack channel #digital-data-mapping, or via the GitHub mapping repo, or via email to mark@platformable.com and we will add it to our list. You can see more of our mapping work and join us via GitHub:
  • BetaNYC has a map that aligns different ways of setting boundaries of districts together to help with defining a neighborhood:
  • Medford and Somerville Mutual Aid has a straightforward resource that explains how to use google forms and google docs to create a map. They provide all queries to cut and paste so non-coders can replicate a map that matches volunteers with needs and shows available groups in the area:

Using information and privacy standards to keep your data on people secure

Publicising your group

Invitation letters and flyers:

Case studies:

  • Astoria Mutual Aid group (coming soon!)

Acknowledgements

The bulk of this resource list was collected by Hannah Brown for the Mutual Aid US group.

Updates

This list will be updated regularly. Last update: 31 March 2020.

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