Wayne State University

Contact Information

5057 Woodward Ave
Ste 6402
Detroit, MI 48202 - 4050
(502) 645-0421
FY 2015 National Service and Civic Engagement Research

Executive Summary

B. Executive Summary

In seven Detroit neighborhoods, AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program (AMUS) members have been working to bring together neighbors and community organizations to address safety-related issues. AMUS members and volunteers work in their neighborhoods on a range of urban safety activities for six months to two years. The AmeriCorps Urban Safety Civic Infrastructure Project (AMUS-Civic) provides an opportunity to use Social Network Analysis (SNA) to measure and explore the progress members, volunteers, and partners of the AMUS program make in helping Detroit neighborhoods build civic infrastructure to address issues of public safety and crime victimization. AMUS-Civic will do this by analyzing the contacts members and volunteers have with partners and residents during their AMUS activities by placing these contacts into SNA software so that the frequency of engagement between AMUS members, volunteers, partners and residents can be measured. AMUS-Civic also will incorporate semi-structured interviews (SSI) to explore the quality of these engagements, investigating the knowledge members, volunteers, partners and residents have of the others in their networks who are working on urban safety issues, what the roles and resources of others in their networks are, and how to engage each other in problem solving. The results will allow for a comparison of civic infrastructure building in these neighborhoods and a comparison of individual ego networks. The findings will serve as applied methodology for application on similar capacity-building service projects and measures that enable improvements to AMUS programming to better develop an issue-specific civic infrastructure around urban safety.

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