One of the basic requirements of community development and community work is the existence of community space. There has to be a place where people can gather and sit down to talk to each other and make plans. This way the space contributes to the development and strengthening of the community. This place is the venue of a part of the activities. It is the place, where we can organise programmes for the children, do arts and crafts, study, organise training courses and do everything that the community plans and implements.
Community spaces are often connected to an institution where different services are provided for the local inhabitants and to those as well, who use the institution. Community developers differentiate between services and community-based services.
It is very important that we have a place locally, at the settlement. This place shall react to actual needs in merit. Another characteristic feature of this place is that volunteering has a role and efforts are made to enlarge the groups of affected parties. This place should base on local resources and facilitate the manifestation of the community’s solidarity and cohesion and/or the community should initiate its establishment. We talk about community-based services if the community has influence on the services and the community identifies itself with these services emotionally, namely the community feels that the services are theirs.
The settlement is a community centre that simultaneously realises several objectives. It contributes to the development of the local community, offers room for leisure-time activities, helps the solution of social problems, provides information, promotes communication among the different people, groups and communities and the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants. It is important that both the individuals, families and communities, without age limit can use its services. The settlement takes concrete steps to strengthen the existing initiatives and organisations, integrate local forces and organise social dialogue. This way, we make local community life more structured, manifesting more solidarity and can launch new movements in public life, involve new youngsters into the organisation of community-based programmes, and – possibly – organise community-based services based on local needs and will. Real self-organisation is motivated not only through the possibility to organise local programmes, but also through organised protection of interests of the local community. In case of settlement-type operation, university students and volunteers also help the local organisation operating the local community venue or neighbourhood centre in addition to cooperation with the responsible and adequate organisations of the local government. A settlement can offer several, different services, but when it comes to planning and implementation of these services, the focus shall be on the needs and requirements of the local community and the participation of the affected parties. (…) It is very important that its services shall not be organised by sectors, but in a complex manner, in close cooperation among volunteers from different professions, affected parties and NGOs. Under the aegis of the settlement idea, the emphasis, in case of the services, is on assuring that not only experts and professional institutions provide the services, but also the affected parties, with the help of the previous partners. There is a wide variety of opportunities from arranging everyday matters, organising baby-sitting, visiting sick people, etc. and these offer great opportunity to mobilise the resources of the community.
-  Molnár Aranka, Peták Péter, Vercseg Ilona (2014): Közösségi lehetőségek a mélyszegénység elleni küzdelemben. Önszerveződés és szakmaközi együttműködés. Budapest: Készült a „Közösségi felzárkóztatás a mélyszegénységben élők integrációjáért program szakmai koordinációja” című projekt (TÁMOP 5.1.3-09/1-2009-0002) keretében. A projekt főpályázója az Autonómia Alapítvány, konzorciumi partnerei a Közösségfejlesztők Egyesülete, a Lechner Lajos Tudásközpont Nonprofit Kft. (korábban: VÁTI Nonprofit Kft.) és a Szociális Szakmai Szövetség. p. 42.
-  Giczey Péter (2012): A settlement mint szervező központ. In:Válogatott irodalmak,szakirodalmi összegzések a Peremhelyzetű és kirekesztett csoportokkal végzett szociális és közösségi munka c. képzés II. részéhez. pp. 17-18.
This article based on the following document: Esélyegyenlőségi módszertani útmutató