Section 1. Welcome to the asset mapping toolkit

Are you interested in undertaking a large-scale community mapping effort? This toolkit will provide you background on community asset mapping and orient you to a series of activities that you can undertake.

This toolkit, in conjunction with the on-going development of applications using Capacitype mapping and data services, highlights a suite of tools designed to accelerate asset (a.k.a. resource) mapping activities throughout the U.S. As a component of capacity building in communities, asset mapping opens the door for everyone to get involved so that efforts become as much about realizing change in the present as they are about supporting those yet to come.

The big idea is to map every community across the country and empower those in recovery to live their best life. Capacitype services include a set of asset mapping tools that can help groups and organizations build capacity for recovery in and around their communities.

The simple idea is to invite everyone to go out and map assets in and around their community - those people, groups, places, and services that you or your group are finding helpful and useful in your recovery.

This activity can change the way people view, think, and talk about recovery in their communities. Building capacity for recovery starts by finding helpful community-based assets – many of which are hidden or not yet visible. As assets are made known, the community can begin assembling them into new practices that expand access and address uncovered needs or gaps in service. Dynamic, interactive maps and resources within online applications then allow people to better find recovery supports, map recovery supports, or ask about recovery supports throughout their community.

We encourage active use of these tools and resource maps in all communities, and stand ready to support your contributions to the broad effort of building capacity for recovery in all corners of the nation.

When to start

There is no magic formula for when or how to best start mapping your community assets other than just starting. You will quickly find the value in the conversations you are having and the stories you start sharing.

We have found it helpful to initially approach those individuals and groups that you believe will be most receptive to your idea of building capacity for recovery in your community.

As you begin having conversations and acquiring information, stay mindful of three questions:

  1. What seems to make an individual or group receptive to your efforts?
  2. How might those you meet help others become more receptive to your recovery support efforts?
  3. Which stories and messages seem to be most effective in getting individuals and groups on board with your capacity building effort?

The answers to these three questions provide insights that can help enhance your on-going community asset mapping activities.

Adding assets to the map

Most likely, you will quickly start gathering information about programs and services, what we call assets (a.k.a. resources), in your community. And you will want to make sure that other people can find and access these assets for care and support.

You can add these assets to the map serving the online Addiction Resource Hub application as you discover them. Or you can create an asset inventory to upload a collection of resources you can then share with others in your community.

Permission to reproduce in whole or part for use in educational and other not-for-profit groups is granted with the acknowledgment of Transforming Youth Recovery as the source on all copies.The contents of this publication is based on work by sr4 Partners LLC under contract by Transforming Youth Recovery. © 2017