Neighborhood Mutual Aid

Neighborhood mutual aid means taking care of each other. Join the sharing economy.

Neighborhood mutual aid

Developing a Neighborhood Sharing Economy

The information below is packed with tips and links for a variety of resources to help cooperative housing clusters, neighborhood mutual aid organizations, or transition towns. In many small towns, churches still serve these connecting functions. There are often community centers and service clubs that coordinate helping. However, there are many people who either aren’t affiliated with formal organizations or who want to join together for additional resource sharing beyond what these organizations typically specialize in.

These projects can help you practice group decision-making. It takes time to build trust, so having regular interaction based on resource sharing lets you find out what works for you individually and as a group. Connect with platforms, organizations, and resources listed below for many project types. One organization that operates as an international resource to map local groups is the Transition Network.

ICmatch could help you connect with others who share and can collaborate in the vision of your sharing economy project. In the Housing Type section of the profile, some folks have selected the option “Neighborhood mutual aid project or cooperative housing cluster.” ICmatch profiles are intended for those seeking some type of shared housing, but choosing only this response option can help people find each other if they are seeking partners primarily for a neighborhood project.

To start with a small-scale project, you might begin with container gardening, backyard chickens, or find a community garden near you. If you are ready for a larger project, consider joining intentional neighborhood-level initiatives or introducing elements of the transition towns movement to existing groups such as a neighborhood watch or service club. Another example is a bike repair shop that becomes a community hub.

Mutual Aid Networks

If you want to increase the community cohesiveness where you already live, start a resilience circle.

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If you want to increase the community cohesiveness where you already live, you might find that neighborhood resilience circles are a good way to develop a relationship with people willing to support each other in hard times. See You might also search for formal “mutual aid networks” and include your location. You might advertise your meetings to new members thru or Eventbrite.

Second Family

Having life-long strong social connections, including supportive friends, has health benefits.

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The world’s longest-lived people chose—or were born into—long-standing social circles. For example, Okinawans created groups called a moai (pronounced mow-eye)—groups of about five that originally were assigned to each other as a social safety net, but many of them became committed friends for life.

Dinner Group

A rotating schedule of meals among friends helps you save time and enjoy each other’s company.

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A great way to create more intentional neighborhoods is eating together. Create a rotating schedule of meals with neighbors or a friend group, to save time and enjoy more variety. You could eat in each other’s homes to enjoy the company, or cook extra on certain nights and deliver to the others’ homes.

Elder Support Groups

Aging family members eventually lose many of their friends due to death or inability to travel …

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Aging family members eventually lose many of their friends due to death or inability to travel. Creating a social support group to facilitate visits and activities could ease the loneliness many feel at this time of life. You might find interested others by creating a Facebook page, leaving notices with businesses or non-profits who serve the elderly, or thru

Child Care

Single parents can team up to share living expenses and swap childcare.

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Medical Risk Bubbles

Medically vulnerable people can stay safe and healthy while socially supported.

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Pods, also called bubbles or quaranteams, helped people stay safe, healthy, socially supported, and sane amid the pandemic restrictions. Some continue to need to limit their exposure to various medical risks. As a group, be clear with each other about the level of personal risk that feels okay for you, depending on the vulnerability of your immediate household members. Set rules you all agree on. See our in-depth suggestions

Business Partnership or Work Project Teams

Revenue sharing and mutual support agreements for professionals.

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  • If you are interested in revenue sharing and mutual support agreements for professional teams, see Enspiral as an example of a work cooperative with innovative work team management and finance sharing. Sometimes when a business is up for sale, a group of employees has purchased it to continue operation as a coop. ICmatch could help you find long-term matches for a leadership team with specific skill sets and interests. You might also hire contractors from or Upwork.
  • The ReBuilding Center is an 80,000 square foot facility that makes recycled materials available for low cost. This workplace has a shared-power culture where they all earn a living wage, with full health and dental benefits for their families. 

Minimize Cost of Living

Peer-to-peer services plus popular advisors on living within your means.

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  • If you’re looking for the “Airbnb” of storage spaces to park your car or stuff while away, see
  • A popular frugal lifestyle blogger in early retirement explains the importance of community in his family’s life.
  • Dave Ramsey is another popular finance advisor who advocates for agressively paying off debt thru strict budgeting.

Car Share

Forming a car share with friends or neighbors close by could be a great option.

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  • Member-owned car sharing co-operatives can be found in many metropolitan areas, where you pay per hour or per mile to “borrow” a car from the service. In addition, there are websites that organize carpools for regular commutes. 
  • Lyft, Uber, and similar pay-per-use services are great for infrequent needs and for travel while away from your home area.
  • If you are looking to keep the benefits of vehicle use with less cost, or if you aren’t in a metropolitan area where carshares or good public transportation are located, forming a car share with friends or neighbors close by could be a great option, especially when each household has a vehicle and only occasionally needs a second one. Issuu tells you how to get started.

Time Banks and Local Currency

Time banks can track your contributions to allow you to swap services locally.

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Time banks can track your contributions to allow you to swap services rather than exchanging them in the economic marketplace. Use search terms such as “time bank” or “local currency” along with your location. On a related note, bartering websites such as, or classified ads can lead you to a trove of resources, often for free.

Sharable Housing

Cohousing and coliving options have increased affordable housing supply.

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Our Rental Housing Search Tips page lists the following:

  • Online Platforms for Medium- to Long-term Rentals
  • Local Property Managers
  • Online Platforms for Month-to-Month Rentals
  • Scouting Around in Person
  • Roommate Finders


If your project does not include residence sharing, we’d love to point you to The Transition Network as the go-to site for consultants and information for your neighborhood project. Another aligned organization is Green America. ICmatch might also help you find consultants who could be ideal for your non-residential types of purpose-based community that require close sustained cooperation. See our independent consultants list for a wide variety of specializations.