Jake Norris graduated from DePaul University with a degree in sociology, where he learned about Asset Based Community Development. He and his family moved to Holland in 2018 and live in the Eastcore neighborhood. Jake directs 3sixty, which is strengthening the Eastcore neighborhood. Jake also serves as the Holland-Zeeland Regional Coach. 3sixty has been instrumental in everything from housing and mural programs, to a tool lending library and annual clean-up events. We caught up with Jake to learn more about his vision.

What’s a favorite story from the work?

I have many favorites, but I will share one from our Neighborhood Advocacy Team member Lori. Lori and her husband Dave moved into the Eastcore neighborhood 30 years ago. In that time, they have built community around them by reclaiming a neglected alley behind their home for a community garden. Lori and Dave have connected their neighbors by organizing events in the alley and using the gifts of the whole block. What was formerly a littered eyesore has been transformed into a gathering place where neighbors can connect and care for their shared space.

At its best, 3sixty is the support system to help bring dreams to life. While it’s nice to see how these gardens and spaces improve the appearance of the area, these projects bring so much more than that. As Lori emphasizes, “It’s really about humanity and just being out with each other. Everybody gets together and has so much fun. Because of this work, we now know our neighbors and if we are ever in a jam, night or day, we know that our neighbors are going to have our back.”


What inspired you to work regionally?

Simply put, I love the work and want to see more of it happening in the Holland-Zeeland area. I see how challenging it is for resident leaders to sustain the work over the long haul, and how hard it is for individual neighborhood organizations to tell their story to a broader audience; I’d like to build the support structure to free up neighbors to focus on their neighborhood! My dream is to incubate and support neighborhood connector entities in every neighborhood. Every neighborhood has intrinsic value and unique gifts; I want to see those resources leveraged for collective flourishing across our region.

Want to learn more about the regional impact 3Sixty is making? Visit their website to learn more.