If there’s anything I’ve learned while helping to organize Common Security Clubs in communities around the nation, it’s that there is no “one size fits all” club. They are as different as the individuals who comprise them.
“We usually spend about 45 minutes on a ‘check-in’ with each other,” says Paul Miller in Boston, whose club has been meeting for two years. “The focus is simply on hearing each other, and providing support whenever possible. People get to air their concerns and receive affirmation.”
“We’re taking baby steps toward a new type of community,” adds Jared Gardner, a facilitator in Portland, Oregon. “We want people to feel connected and empowered. That’s what the groups are all about.”
In the past, neighbors knew each other and engaged more naturally in mutual aid, sharing common resources and helping those in need. Nowadays, our mutual aid muscles are out of shape and pretty flabby. Clubs help us to start flexing and stretching them again, little by little.