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GO-HNI | Greater Oshkosh Healthy Neighborhoods Inc.
Neighborhood News

Introducing GO-HNI and ONE Oshkosh

Following nearly a year of preparation, Greater Oshkosh Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. (GO-HNI), is up and running. GO-HNI is a private/public 501(c)3 nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to strengthening Oshkosh neighborhoods by engaging residents, encouraging reinvestment, and elevating community pride through the creation of community investment partnerships for the benefit of residents in the greater Oshkosh area. GO-HNI will pursue Healthy Neighborhoods through four outcome areas: Image; Market; Physical Conditions; and Neighborhood Management; carried out through three lines of business: Community Building & Engagement; Real Estate Development; and Asset Management.

ONE Oshkosh
In addition to a new organization focused on strengthening Oshkosh area neighborhoods, a new initiative is underway. ONE Oshkosh was created to unify all those working toward improving and revitalizing Oshkosh neighborhoods. The 'ONE' in ONE Oshkosh stands for Our Neighborhoods Engage. Several organizations will take part in ONE Oshkosh: City of Oshkosh; GO-HNI; neighborhood associations; and collaborating organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity; the Winnebago Housing Authority; ADVOCAP; and others. ONE Oshkosh unifies all of these collaborators as they work toward improving Oshkosh area neighborhoods. Think of it this way: ONE Oshkosh could not exist without each organization bringing their strengths to the table in an effort to improve neighborhoods. Therefore, collaborative efforts of the City, GO-HNI, neighborhood associations, and other agencies form the ONE Oshkosh initiative. Greater Oshkosh Healthy Neighborhoods Inc. is the non-profit organization that will identify, administer and primarily fund neighborhood projects. It is the centralized effort of people and resources that will initiate many of the improvements. This is truly an exciting time to live, work, play, and learn in Oshkosh!


The ABCD Approach to Resident Leadership Development

Residents of the newly formed Sawyer Creek Neighborhood Association, along with GO-HNI, the City of Oshkosh, and numerous collaborators from across the Fox Valley have been participating in an effort to provide resident leadership training to neighborhood residents from Oshkosh to Appleton, and points in between. Rooted in the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to neighborhoods, residents from seven neighborhoods in Oshkosh, Menasha, Town of Harrison, and Appleton, have been coming together to sharpen skills and share knowledge that will build their leadership capacity and strengthen neighborhoods across our region.

What is ABCD?

ABCD is a strategy for sustainable community –driven development. Beyond the mobilization of a particular community, ABCD is concerned with how to link micro-assets to the macro-environment. The appeal of ABCD lies in its premise that communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilizing existing, but often unrecognized assets, and thereby responding to and creating local social and economic opportunity.
ABCD draws out strengths and successes in a community’s shared history as its starting point for change. Among all the assets that exist in a community, ABCD pays particular attention to the assets inherent in social relationships, as evident in formal and informal associations and networks.

Guiding Principles of ABCD

Most communities address social and economic problems with only a small amount of their total capacity. Much of the community capacity is not used and is needed! This is the challenge and opportunity of community engagement. Everyone in a community has something to offer. There is no one we don’t need.
  • Everyone has gifts: With rare exception, people can contribute and want to contribute. Gifts must be discovered.
  • Relationships build a community: See them, make them, and utilize them. An intentional effort to build and nourish relationships is the core of ABCD and all of community building.
  • Citizens at the center: It is essential to engage the wider community as actors (citizens), not just as recipients of services (clients).
  • Leaders involve others as active members of the community: Leaders from the wider community of voluntary associations, congregations, neighborhoods, and local business, can engage others from their sector. This “following” is based on trust, influence, and relationships.
  • People care about something: Agencies and neighborhood groups often complain about apathy. Apathy is a sign of bad 
    listening. People in communities are motivated to act. The challenge is to discover what their motivation is.
  • Motivation to act: Must be identified. People act on certain themes they feel strongly about, such as: concerns to address, dreams to realize, and personal talents to contribute. Every community is filled with invisible motivation for action. Listen for it. 
  • Listening Conversation: One-on-one dialogue or small group conversations are ways of discovering motivation and invite participation. Forms, surveys, and asset maps can be useful to guide intentional listening and relationship building.
  • Ask, ask, ask: Asking and inviting are key community building actions. Join us. We need you.This is the song of community.
  • Asking questions rather than giving answers invites stronger participation: People in communities are usually asked to follow outside experts' answers for their community problems. A more powerful way to engage people is to invite communities to address questions and find their own answers with agencies following up to help.
  • A citizen-centered "inside-out" organization is the key to community engagement: A "citizen-centered" organization is one where local people control the organization and set the organization's agenda. 
  • Institutions have reached their limits in problem solving: All institutions such as government, non-profits, and businesses are stretched thin in their ability to solve community problems. They cannot be successful without engaging the rest of the community in solutions.
  • Institutions as servants: People are better than programs in engaging the wider community. Leaders in institutions have an essential role in community building as they lead by stepping back, creating opportunities for citizenship, care, and real democracy. 

    Excerpted from the ABCD Institute's What is Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) handout. For more information, please visit the Asset Based Community Development Institute's website: 
For more information, or to participate in this resident leadership training opportunity, please contact Shelly, GO-HNI Program Director, at 920-230-2717 or 

Sign-up for Walk to School Day!

International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration - with record breaking participation - each October. Today, thousands of schools across America - from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico - participate every October. Last year, over 60 schools within the East Central WI region participated in Walk to School Day!

The East Central WI Regional Safe Routes to School Program is promoting International Walk to School Day to be celebrated on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 or schools are encouraged to plan an event any other day of their choosing, this fall.

Tool kits are available to participating schools with the East Central Wisconsin Region, which contain student incentives such as sunglasses, clip-on flashing lights, wristbands, banner for students to sign, stickers, t-shirts, Subway gift cards, etc. A set amount of incentives are given out equally to each school, no additional incentives will be given to schools - please consider this when planning your event. 

Schools that have participated in International Walk to School Day in past years have planned some very unique, creative events! Below are some ways your school can celebrate International Walk to School Day:

  • Organize an all school walk - during the school day so all kides, even those that live too far away from school, have a chance to participate
  • Host "celebrity" guests: encourage and invite all parents, grandparents, and staff to walk to school with their students
  • Have a theme for your International Walk to School Day
  • Create a poster contest on walking safety
  • Check with local grocery stores and area businesses about donating healthy snacks and giveaways for children who participate
  • Hold a pedestrian safety announcement; give out walking safety tips in the morning announcements each day of the week
  • Create a festive destination when your students arrive to school with banners, balloons, music, and flags. Make it extra entertaining and have a photo booth at your event!
To register your school for International Walk to School Day and receive a toolkit, please contact Lauron Hinch, East Central Wisconsin Regional Plan Commission, at

National Good Neighbor Day, September 28, 2016

National Good Neighbor Day is observed annually on September 28. This day was created to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of a good neighbor. It is a blessing to have a good neighbor but it is even a greater thing to BE a good neighbor.

Good neighbors often become friends. They watch out for each other, lend a helping hand, and are there for advice when asked.   Neighbors are there when we need to borrow something, to get our mail for us when we are on vacation, to watch our homes, and sometimes to watch our children and our pets - as well as the many other things we do with our neighbors.

National Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana.  In 1978 United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601:

“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family…I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
In 2003, National Good Neighbor Day was changed from the fourth Sunday in September, to September 28.

Why not use Good Neighbor Day as an opportunity to lend a proverbial cup of sugar and get to know the people who live nearby? To celebrate National Good Neighbor Day, do something nice for your neighbor today. Use #GoodNeighborDay to post on social media.

Imagine Oshkosh

The City of Oshkosh is currently developing Imagine Oshkosh – A Master Plan for Our Center City!
What is Imagine Oshkosh?
Imagine Oshkosh is a long-term vision and strategy for Oshkosh’s center city. It  will direct growth, investment, and development in the City’s greater downtown area over the next 10 years. Extensive public outreach will be conducted throughout the planning process, and the community’s vision will drive the plan’s direction and recommendations. Ultimately,Imagine Oshkosh will answer: “What should our center city look like in 10 years and how do we get there?”
Where/what is Oshkosh’s center city?

Oshkosh’s “center city” is its downtown area and historic core. It includes our central business district as well as the Fox River and Lake Winnebago waterfront area.  The central city area is crucial to the health of Oshkosh due to the great concentration of property value, businesses, jobs, worker housing, and population density.
What will Imagine Oshkosh contain?
Imagine Oshkosh will contain several important pieces, including: a summary of community feedback and outreach; a demographic and market analysis; a detailed vision with accompanying goals and objectives; an land use and infill redevelopment framework; an arts and entertainment district framework; a parking and transportation plan; a pedestrian mobility and connectivity plan; a beautification, streetscape, and signage plan; and an implementation plan. Collectively,Imagine Oshkosh will provide elected officials and decision-makers with the long-term vision of the center city area and 
the strategies and tools needed to achieve that vision.
Who is involved in creating Imagine Oshkosh?
You! It is critical that all of Oshkosh’s stakeholders are involved in the development of Imagine Oshkosh. The City is committed to involving residents, businesses, and workers in the process in order to craft a common community vision for the future of our center city. Ultimately, the Plan will be reviewed and approved Oshkosh Plan Commission and City Council.
We already have other plans. What will happen to those?
Existing plans are an important part of the Imagine Oshkosh process. These plans will inform Imagine Oshkosh, and in some cases will be incorporated into the plan if the goals and vision are still consistent with the community’s aspirations.
When did the planning process start and when will Imagine Oshkosh be completed?
The planning process began in December 2015 and is estimated to be completed by late 2016.
How can I get involved in the process?
It is important to get involved in all the Imagine Oshkosh activities, from data collection, to community visioning and mapping, to creation of community goals and objectives. The Get Involved page of the planning portal website describes all the opportunities available to give your input, including public meetings, online surveys and questionnaires, and an interactive mapping tool. The News & Updates page will list meeting dates and times throughout the process as they are scheduled. Finally, materials from meetings and more information detailing the Imagine Oshkosh process can be 
found on the Documents page. Visit to learn more and participate today! For more information, please contact Planning Services at 920-236-5059 or 

Oshkosh's Neighborhood Associations

Do you have a suggestion for a story or other content for an upcoming newsletter? Do you or your organization have an upcoming event that you'd like publicized? GO-HNI welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions. Please contact Shelly at 920-230-2717 or We look forward to hearing from you! 

404 N Main St., Suite 106  |  Oshkosh, WI 54901  |  (920) 230-2717
Copyright © 2016 GO-HNI, All rights reserved.

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