06 Apr Started 30 years ago. As a collaboration and it was loose, man. So the. The operative word there was, and I can even tell it from a YWCA standpo
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Started 30 years ago. As a collaboration and it was loose, man. So the. The operative word there was, and I can even tell it from a YWCA standpoint. Was. The issue in the city was youth violence. Youth serving agencies, who generally didn’t work together. Came together with the city and other concerns leading organisations United Way. And they formed. You literally you net and the thought was that a net would be thrown into the community. To capture young people. Engage them in the activities of the organizational partners. And then disperse. So it was a summer program. It is now used connect. So I’m gonna have you move forward list because you connect this to end result. So the consortium of Youthnet started in 1991. Again, local community based youth agencies recognized the importance of providing safe activities during the summer during evening hours, in safe spaces. Now the why am in the YW really never worked together. Boys and Girls Club and girls and really didn’t work together. Ewing was mental health you. Do you center was older you so desperate? Agencies working in a community came together and there was really nothing like it. It came out of a study that was done, I think, in Duluth about it was a model that was in place. And so the first summer, 91, the agencies came together and tried to figure out. How to launch the first summer programming in 1992? Now at the time the YWCA was not a partner because while the summer of 92 they were going through that, it was just before I got there they were going through construction so they didn’t have the space. So they were kind of locked up. And so when the group kept getting together because the YW wasn’t part of that, you know, inauguration here. But I wasn’t a Jayce at every meeting with no power, no position, no part in any of it, until they finally started growing so much they needed. Overflow sites. So the YW started as an overflow site. Really no respect in them. In the clear, but in then we ended up being, you know, part of it, so, oh, Kansas City. You, Inc was the largest really agency stepped in as the physical partner, so all the money that came in went through you and can get dispersed in a collaborative of providing services. There were mental health providers, even that early. It was seen that mental health was an issue for young people. And if we were gonna have young people in spaces safe spaces, how will we gonna equip youth workers who really weren’t clinicians to have the support they needed when these young people came together? The other key thing was outreach. Now that school’s out, how do you get these young people into these spaces? Transportation in most communities, but in Worcester was a huge issue. So transportation became a key ingredient. And then that we were all open for evening. So we did all of our summer camps are swimming lessons, our day programming, and then from 5:30 to 9:30, we will open for this whole outreach of young people coming into our agencies. And at that time, it was kind of loose. It was walking. Each agency involved their own people, but there were many other agencies as part of it. The the thing that I am proud of, but it took too long was in 2000, almost eight years later, the whole coalition was formed. Because it was really adults. Creating programs at these. Loosely connected agencies and where was the youth voice? So the hook coalition brought youth partners to the table, so every agency put forth one of their youth leaders. Aspirational leaders, and we went through training about youth adult partnership, how every voice mattered, how the adults weren’t with power. The youth actually were given more power and they had not only a connection with us. At the youth net table, but they formed a coalition and did unbelievably fabulous stuff. Amongst many things, they had comp list. The one thing that I was like so proud of was the Hulk coalition got cigarettes out of pharmacies in the city. It was. Without cigarettes, like literally the reason we have no cigarettes being sold in pharmacies in Worcester is this powerful group of young people led by Lori Ross. And you all know Lori. She was one of our partners from the beginning. And then to CVS says later we, you know, we’re so health conscious and blah blah blah. So they removed them from all their pharmacies and many followed suit. But it was a city ordinance. That these young people may happen. So they became we once they outgrew Youthnet, which was like 1011 to 14, they could join the whole coalition. They got stipended because it was clear that young people needed to be stipended transportation was arranged, they had food, put that together in a room with. 20 to 30 young people and beautiful magic music was was made. Next. So we said, wow, what else can we do as a collaborative, so collaboratively we applied to Intel for resources to set up a computer clubhouse. And girls in Lincoln St. Took the lead on that. And it literally became our first gender specific program. So girls think was the home for the computer clubhouse, all funded and supplied by Intel and girls from all of our agencies. If we could get them, there could be part of that computer clubhouse. It lasted eight years. And then Intel’s focus went elsewhere. About the same time, I said early on, you Wink Worcester youth guidance were part of the collaborative. Once again, because the Hope Coalition was youth driven and one of their top priorities was mental health. Dot hope. Created an embedded clinician model so that. In every site there was a clinician working with the youth workers and Liz can talk about this better because boys and Girls Club has had one since YW really never alone had the benefit of that. So that they would be on site. Right working in the miliar. And. If young people needed to kind of have someone to talk to, or the youth worker could be strengthened, ’cause once again, child care workers, youth workers are not clinicians. Yet bringing all these youth together from different neighborhoods and maybe did or did not know each other, this was a huge support. So youth workers became trained. To be more Cognizant and it became a model in early care as well as middle school programming and. I can tell you that the wait to get a mental health appointment. In the crisis in the mental health field, particularly for young people, this really made a difference in young people coming forward. Again, out of all of that became a youth worker training institute. It became very clear that youth workers, as as low paid as daycare workers, needed to have skills built because they were interacting and responsible for our most important resource, our young people. So Clark and Lori and Jenn staff put together, it’s like a 12 week, isn’t it? It’s a 12 week high level certification program. That the boys and girls could. This is like credentialing our young people beyond their experience, giving them official credentialing and credibility, positive youth development, etc. So we said look at what we can do together. So as you can see now more money is involved, it’s spanning a larger focus than just recreation at at sites. We were blessed to have access, DPH department public health, statewide youth violence prevention was high on everybody’s priority list. We were able to get. Large grant through DPH to provide after school programming. From with a partner of a school, Sullivan Middle Transportation provided transportation from some of the middle to boys and Girls Club girls and get YW and year round programming in this collaborative was born. Not that we didn’t all do year round programming, but we never did year round programming. Under the umbrella of youth now. And now this is one of my favorite examples. So in 2009. It was announced also a really high youth mileage here. It was, wasn’t it? It was announced that the City of Worcester wasn’t enough, wasn’t opening. It’s 12 to 13 pools and and water parks throughout beachfronts throughout the city. Imagine that a summer, no public pools in the neighborhoods. Well, it was finances number one. I mean, those were really tough budget years, number one, number 2. The upkeep the the physical status of the pools in the neighborhoods were just really below standard. And it became clear that it was not cost effective for the city to be in the business of swimming, at least at that period of time with the budget and the capital needs. So I wanna say that literally within three weeks, the city manager and I think Ywn boys and Girls Club were lead agencies, brought all the youth agencies together that have pools. If we put together wheels to water transportation from the public pool sites to the agency sites, not just to dip in a pool with 100 kids per square inch, but to get swim lessons so out of that was born. We also water high quality certified swimming lessons for young people. And if you understand that. Where, where? Generally appealing to low income neighborhood kids, children of color, the highest rate of drowning. This was hitting all kinds of marks that I don’t even think we were as aware of as we just responded. And this is where money got really we had to agree on the same holiday rate for our staff. The same hours, the same staff credentials the same, you know, overhead costs, so that not one agency was gonna break it. We literally agreed. We went to the common denominator across all of the agencies and this lasted a few years until the City made the decision to. Only two. Do you pulls a few water parks that they could keep up? And I feel something was last and do recreation was so excited with all the row. Yes. So then yes, they also put all their money into wreck Wister this summer, parks. I’m not gonna get into this a lot, but this is really where we crossed from. Collaborative. Summer year round to now of a formal alliance. So in the summer or in the year of 2011. We made the commitment to apply to the United Way. Now we each were United Way funded. Obviously boys and Girls Club with the largest because that’s their primary focus and the largest number of the YWCA by. Coincidence was the smallest because youth development was a very small piece of our overall programming, but we were critical in many other ways. And we apply. This was huge for one grand. From United Way, on behalf of six or seven agencies for one amount. Which meant we had to take all our United Way. Applications may come into line, agree on outcomes, agree on. Everything. It was a huge risk because. Well, if you like, but if we didn’t get as much who was gonna lose and all of that, but this was really it was now summer outreach, diverse year round programming, common outcomes shared best practice and training. Now we were truly an allowance allowance alliance and we were sharing. Resources, not just having separate resources, but literally sharing risk as well as benefit. I’m not gonna get into this very much, but again, we were seven agencies, five national, the direct service people get together monthly. The Edie’s got some gather monthly. That executive directors were the policymaking and decision making, but we were fed by the program. Connectors, the direct frontline staff. Here’s the agencies at our peak we were serving over 6000 youth annually. And some of the ways we did that is through those come on site, add assemblies at middle schools before school got out, the schools were embracing us. We added resources, youth worker training. It was deeper into agency trust. And a powerful voice for the underserved. And Judy will get into it came with all kinds of indicators and outputs and data being the bane of all of our existence. We knew what our own data said, but collectively, what did our data set that was to me, one of the hugest and most costly except for transportation challenges. And again, Judy will go through this because we became an integral part of the chip, the Community Health Improvement Plan. Because of the spin, you know we were across race of justice and I don’t know, mental health and all many, many categories was this. And we’ve done strategic planning, but basically we are now a program that we. Youth connect is now a department of the YW of the United Way. So we’re not like a funded agency. We are a program of the United Way. So we’re part of their budget, not part of their distribution pool. And so we felt that the risks we took secured. The position that we could probably have never kept our level of funding if we didn’t make this decision. And. We make we reach the top of the mountain from a loose structure of summer programming to a consortium alliance of agencies, $500,000 strong serving youth with youth voices at the table outcomes throughout the whole community. So with that. And nobody else. I mean, when we talk across the country, when, you know, Liz goes to boys and Girls Club and I conferences and I used to go to YW, they used to say to why him and the YW in the boys and Girls Club and Girls Inc are at the same table sharing resources, sharing staff. It really is a powerful message ’cause it’s. All about you and when you know mergers is all about the common Goals, vision, mission. The same thing with the collaborative and alliance, and I don’t know how many collaboratives or alliances in this community have been alive and thrived in grown the way that you connected. Does anybody have any questions before I shoot it to the Google of Youth Connect? yeah if you wanna take a break now for five minutes while we switch but any questions we do that.
Capitalize So it was kind of run like a camp. There was staff that was supervised by. People that were hired by youth now. They were not the staff that boys and Girls Club or girls in or. Y MCA at the time they were central and they were staff that were hired to support kids throughout the city that weren’t identified with those staff agencies at all. Where they were running the program, the agencies were kind of doing. They were holding their monthly meetings as what I remember, they were holding their monthly meetings. They were making decisions. And Linda said that that was the decision making table. But then, after those decisions were made, there was a coordinator that pushed it out through these part time staff that were hiring to just working evenings. That model went on until that kind of time period of like 2000 to 2005 is when we started to really engage in the work that the Worcester Public Schools were doing and starting to get involved in those after school programs in a very intentional. When that happened, when that transition to having agency start to do programming at times other than the evening in the summer? And service those kids. That’s when we started to move to a model where agency stand. You’re actually being supervised by the agencies and working with those same groups of kids. So we. Went from a a new workforce that was hired as part time staff. Kind of your typical summer jobs to having professional staff that were working with these kids on staff that were college dream had degrees. So that was a real shift and the. Type types of programming we were able to do. That ability for us to start doing after school programs and start to link our professional staff really allowed us to sort to bridge that program and get from 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon when kids got out of school till my gosh, YWCA didn’t close their doors until 9:00 or 10:00 o’clock at night. YMCA was open till 9:10 o’clock at night. So we had access to facilities, we now had staff that were used to and trained to work with these kids. Now the issue was how do we expand those programs and services that agencies are working with so that we can get more services. There there were a number of small collaborations that were going on in the city, but nothing quite as big as what was happening with that transition in 2011. Two. Six agencies that were applying in one application. For United Way funding. That was absolutely unheard of cross the country. Any of you that are from out of state, I would challenge you to go to your primary nonprofits in your home. Ants. They’ve not ever done anything similar to this. Ever had anything similar to this happening? And I think what you’ll find is that it’s a very unusual aberration. because of what was happening with you connect I’m honestly feel that it was that collaboration that really sparked that energy of collaboration in the City of Worcester. And you really started seeing things crop up kind of all over the place. And I have a couple of examples of things that happen in the city during those same periods of time. Just to give you some examples. There was a youth first event that was held. It was held at Girls Inc on Lincoln Street is where the actual event was held. This was held initially, was brought together by this or any of you familiar with the summer Youth Works program. You may have it in some of your communities or home where. High school and freshman college, maybe up to age 2324 or supported by city. Funds to find jobs in the city. Sometimes those are with youth agencies. Sometimes they’re not. But that Jobs Group collaborated to come together and pull from all the different views agencies in the city, and this is a list of those agencies that were primarily involved. Had a great big. Function over at Lincoln St they filled the basketball court there in the bleachers. They had big roll calls and kids were there was lots of great energy in the room. One of the first times that people from across the city, from agencies that would typically compete against each other. Was coming together for this big city like it one night. It was also a collaboration that was event that was held over at boys and Girls Club, specifically for LGBTQ folks. It was initiated and run organized by the Southeast Asian Coalition. He pulled together a group and and you can see where. It’s very so. It’s hosted by community members. This was so. This is the Southeast Asian Community Center that’s having an event for LGBT folks. So they’re doing everything they can to make sure that they’re not exposing anybody. It doesn’t wanna be exposed and they’re just really creating a safe space. They didn’t even put people agencies down. Boys and Girls Club was there because we were providing the space and. I’m kind of a known entity in the community and I think both kind of came looking for me and said, you know, is there some way we could make this happen and list doesn’t say no to anybody? On the other huge collaboration, I’m gonna say that you guys have to know about this. The Coalition for Healthy Greater Worcester. Yes, Lori Ross was the community chair up until few months ago. I was the community chair prior to that, and there’s always been. City chair or medical person that served as chair. That. Collaboration. Just coalition for healthy grade or Worcester? This is actually the second plan. Each of the hospitals in the city have to come up with a community health improvement plan. That’s a requirement for them to keep their licensing and things like that. And Worcester. We no longer do that. Those two hospitals that have to produce that plan no longer do that on their own. They do it through a community coalition. So. This. Whole design and strategy of using a politian of community members to design and give feedback on the chip. Change the way that the state. Does their distribution of funds. For use for help. Across their turn, as the Community health networks. And it was my involvement at the YWCA, in their health and fitness programs that put me at the Community Health Network table. And I would say that that started my. Expanse of collaboration and injustice? No, that tonight. Any agency that received Department of Public Health money, any kind of Department of Public Health money was required, so this wasn’t a voluntary come together for, you know, common goals. It was literally a mandate by the State Department of Public Health to bring agencies together. To do a community needs assessment at more of a grassroots level. And now the chena’s. Are much more community focused in, in really embedded in the communities and engaged in the communities. Not even. I don’t even think PPH has that same kind of requirement anymore. But then I know that that’s how DPH uses those channels to funnel their money to high priority. So if you’re not in that table, even if you’re providing something in that sphere, you’re not gonna get the same kind of look or funding if you if you’re not part of a community. Health Network that is collaborating and. Together, identifying community issues and working to solve them. Yeah, even though the partement of public health within the City of Worcester collaborates with their surrounding towns, it’s a community Health Network. It’s not. We don’t make decisions just for the City of Worcester. We make decisions for the City of Worcester. And and this particular collaboration just won national prestigious award, the router would Johnson award. That is really all about collaboration. And sorry, no, God, the other thing is when the first community health assessment. Who is done with, you know, UMass St. Vincent and Fallon Community Health plan is at the table. The the representation of the voices that helped form that Community health assessment was pretty homogeneous. That’s all the same until that child Kitty help assessment was embedded as part of the work of healthy Greater Worcester, which really changed the the metrics of the voices that were heard. So there were strategies put in place in agencies who sold job was to reach into the diverse communities, to bring voices to the table, to make sure that our Community health assessment wasn’t true gonna represent the outcomes that our community need and out of that. Data the second time around came a much richer plan. Community Health improvement Plan, more partners at the table, more funding that was guided and frankly at the core of all of it was racial justice. Happening with remove from believing that. Public health professionals new best about the community and recognizing that all community members are experts when it comes to the Community needs and I think that’s why it’s been more successful is again instead of making it where the powers in supposedly be experts, right, the ones that had the degrees or whatever. And recognizing that of equal value or those of us who live in the community who work in the community, who serve the community may be different capacities. And I think that’s why it’s got more successful. And I think that’s why it won the award. It probably would have never wanted the award if had stayed a chop right where it was, just not that was a. Need a certain. But it could come out that way, is that we are going to stay on you, but you need to know what you need to be doing because we are the experts, instead realizing we are all experts, all of our community should have a say. We need everyone to the team. Yeah, just collaboration is a very powerful thing. Examples that I put up here on this was 2016’s plan. This is the 2020 one, 2026. So you can see that there’s a lot more open space on this. And you can read through the hand. Go through some general information about collaborations, but you can see progression from this. This. Same thing you connect. This was our first poster that we did where we were actually. This is kind of us from here. And then this is the Wister Community Health Improvement Plan. And what this is kind of my personal thing is that I personally feel that youth development is public health. We are developing the community members of tomorrow, so. A few of us that. So let’s line this up with the Community help improvement plan. So we started looking at this chart and looking at what we did as a collaborative. And we were able to find our work in these domains of the Community Health Improvement program. Because we were no longer just youth development programs at six or seven agencies, we were now six to seven agencies, collectively friendly houses bested, housing like W Does domestic violence boys and Girls Club has the, you know, Premier youth development. So all the things that we did as partners. Not just start. Use development sphere became part of the the agriculture d’alliance we move from the collaboration. This particular poster is kind of the next generation also aligning with the chip. This is now all of our work is line is aligning with that all the agencies are very engaged. Very different than what it used to look like. Again, we’ve got the areas of. The. Community Health improvement plan. All the different pieces that we are doing within those areas to line up with the work that’s being done in that plan. The other thing that we started to do at this point is capture some of our data and. This is the data that you will find is that kind of picked up everywhere. Yeah, when you’re trying to deep collaboration and I’ll point to some reasons why. But in in this particular diagram, again trying to. Work working around my work, getting our funding from United Way United Way has some priority areas. Their education, family, stability, health. Those areas, that’s where we’re doing our assessment, that’s where we prioritize our assessment, our indicators of our work, but those that were still lines up with that Community health improvement. Now one of the things that that you’ll learn about in collaboration in all collaborations, there’s there’s kind of five. Pillars of collaboration and and they’re on your handout. But I do get a common agenda. And you can think about kind of flab orationes that you’re aware of in your community as I’m going through this. Things that you’re aware of that are happening here and with rhino that Clark students are very engaged in our community here. So I know you’re familiar with what’s happening here, or at least trying to be from. So that common agenda, a vision for change, common understanding of a problem, the joint approach. You’re gonna agree on an action. So back in 1991. There was that common problem that violence prevention problem, that still kind of underlies our work today. Shared measurement. Here we are. Common pillar of collaboration. Here’s our shared measurement. We’re all measuring these things. I’ve read ways to measure of breed ways to report. Short list of common indicators identified and used for learning improvement. One of the things we said we were going to do that was gonna be different than anybody else in the community is we were gonna make data driven decisions. Now we have struggle to collect data, but we make decisions based on data, whether it’s Community, need data or our data telling us what we’ve done well, we’re not so. That is a pillar. Short list perfect example. This was crazy and overwhelming. This. Looks do. Short list something that’s doable. Mutually reinforcing activities. So the first set of stakeholders. Typically across sectors. But we’re all coordinating instead of activities through some planned action. So that decision making table that Linda talked about. There was an agenda at those meetings. They met every month, program connectors about actual implementer, the operations folks, that the agencies they were meeting once a month. We’re talking to each other. They were learning from each other. They were taking advantage of each other’s resources. It was a very exciting time as the person who was sitting in the Scylla tating those meetings I had. I was so high on life at the moment. It was just it. Just there was never a meeting that you went to, that there was not some breakthrough. It was just. It was just wonderful stuff. Continuous communication. You heard me talk about the new meetings. We are meeting to death sometimes. There are big meetings after the eight meetings there are. Chair meetings and coordinator meetings in between the executive meetings. There are meetings, subcommittee meetings, so. It’s not just those executive directors that are sitting at the table once a month, they’re then sitting on subcommittees. There’s three or four or five of them that are doing nothing but fundraising focus. There’s another group that’s on program, another group that’s helping with data. So it is work. But you’re working together, so it doesn’t feel as oppressive, I think. And and they’re also learning. It’s that learning from others. I think that really keeps folks involved. Communication is frequent, structured and open. Sometimes that’s hard. It’s purposeful. It builds trust. It is shores mutual objectives. So you’re going after something together and you have to talk about what that looks like. And it creates common motivation so that energy that you feel that you get from others or if you’re having a bad day, you can call the colleague. That can pump you up might not be in your same agency. You could get that from another agency. The other thing that you hear in almost every collaboration that you sit at any table with your collaborating, it’s very important that you have a backbone to the work. That’s that facilitator. It’s the paid staff person that’s gonna keep everybody on track. It’s the one that gets blamed for stuff that doesn’t get done. It’s the one. It’s the one that gets the phone call that says, oh, we have to change this because we have a funder that sold us, that they’re changing what they’re doing for their funding. So they make sure that I’m the one who sits on the email all day and make sure that everybody knows. What everybody else is kind of like the style of agency before you have an executive director, you know, we were all volunteers and we were all running our own agencies. It was, you know, we rotated the chair or Co chair for succession planning. But the day-to-day work needed to be done so that, you know, the ability will be applied for, you know, we in our summer budget, we put some coordination money. But when we applied for that. First joint United Way Grant, we hired a coordinator because you really begin to need the professional person not administrative, but the professional person that’s really gonna carry. Through the whole collaboration, it’s volunteer only collaborations are are really not as successful as those that make the commitment to hire a professional staff person to leave the work. Then involved in groups that have worked. With or without seeing both of those kinds of things happen. A poor wnated effort with no faith. Support or. And the difference between those two? Or help field. it’s a. It’s a very different tape to sit in it. Also, I would say the thing that feels really good to the participants at the table where there’s a paid staff is that they know that there’s somebody that’s working on those things when they’re not paying attention. So it allows you to. Continue to do your work at home for your own agency, while there is also this other work that’s going on. So collaboration. Some of the other principles of practice that are also one that handout design and implement an initiative with priority placed on equity. Now this this handout came out in 2017. This is now 2022 and we’re all still talking about this because there are collaborations that come together without an equity lens and I would say they’re the ones that don’t exist anymore. Address systemic structures and practices that create barriers to equitable outcomes. You really need participants at the table to do that. So. Linda talked about and she she got all energized. I don’t know if you saw it. I saw it when I sit in the chair here. When the whole coalition happened. That is used voice. That was our participant providing us with information, but we’re not gonna get as an observer or the person in front of her. So we needed that voice and that really changes aspect. It creates that equity lens. The other thing that I
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