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2017 CITC Awards Announced!

May 3rd, 2017 by

MACDC is honored that on Tuesday, May 2nd at our annual Lobby Day, Lietentant Governor Karyn Polito announced the 2017 Community Investment Tax Credits (CITC) awards to 46 CDCs across the Commonwealth.  A total of $6 million credits were awarded to state-certified CDCs who are helping lead the continued revitalization of the neighborhoods and towns in which they work.

The CITC program provides a 50 refundable state tax credit for donations of $1,000 or greater to participating organizations. In addition to individuals, businesses and other tax paying entities, organizations, such as nonprofits or donor advised funds, that have limited or no Massachusetts tax obligation can participate becuase the tax creidt is refundable.

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Community Partners Awarded 2017 Community Investment Tax Credits:

ACT Lawrence (Lawrence, MA):  $50,000

Allston Brighton CDC (Allston, MA):  $150,000

Asian CDC (Boston, MA):  $135,000

Codman Square NDC (Dorchester, MA):  $150,000

Community Development Partnership (Eastham, MA):  $120,000

Community Teamwork, Inc. (Lowell, MA):  $129,615

Dorchester Bay EDC (Dorchester, MA):  $79,615

Downtown Taunton Foundation (Taunton, MA):  $50,000

Fenway CDC (Boston, MA):  $150,000

Franklin County CDC (Greenfield, MA):  $129,615

Groundwork Lawrence (Lawrence, MA):  $150,000

Harborlight Community Partners (Beverly, MA):  $150,000

Hilltown CDC (Chesterfield, MA):  $150,000

Housing Assistance Corp. Cape Cod (Hyannis, MA):  $150,000

Housing Corp. of Arlington (Arlington, MA):  $129,615

Housing Nantucket (Nantucket, MA):  $150,000

IBA (Boston, MA):  $129,615

Island Housing Trust (Vineyard Haven, MA):  $150,000

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp (Jamaica Plain, MA):  $150,000

Just-A-Start (Cambridge, MA):  $125,000

Lawrence CommunityWorks (Lawrence, MA):  $150,000

Lena Park CDC (Dorchester, MA):  $50,000

LISC Boston (Boston, MA):  $129,615

MACDC (Boston, MA):  $150,000

Madison Park DC (Roxbury, MA):  $150,000

Main South CDC (Worcester, MA):  $125,000

NeighborWorks Southern MA (Quincy, MA):  $129,615

NewVue Communities (Fitchburg, MA):  $150,000

NOAH (East Boston, MA):  $150,000

North Shore CDC (Salem, MA):  $129,615

Nuestra Comunidad (Roxbury, MA):  $150,000

Oak Hill CDC (Worcester, MA):  $129,615

Quaboag Valley CDC (Ware, MA):  $129,615

Revitalize CDC (Springfield, MA):  $150,000

SMOC (Framingham, MA):  $150,000

Somerville Community Corp. (Somerville, MA):  $150,000

South Boston NDC (Boston, MA):  $79,615

Southwest Boston CDC (Hyde Park, MA):  $60,000

The Neighborhood Developers (Chelsea, MA):  $150,000

Urban Edge (Roxbury, MA):  $150,000

Valley CDC (Holyoake, MA):  $150,000

WATCH CDC (Waltham, MA):  $129,615

Way Finders (Springfield, MA):  $150,000

WHALE (New Bedford, MA):  $129, 615

Worcester Common Ground:  $150,000

Worcester East Side CDC (Worcester, MA):  $100,000

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Advocates Push for Grassroots Involvement in Community Preservation Act at Council Hearing

March 23rd, 2017 by

Contacts:
Joe Kriesberg, MA Association Community Development Corps, joek@macdc.org
Greg Galer, Boston Preservation Alliance, ggaler@bostonpreservation.org
Linda Orel, The Trust for Public Land, Linda.Orel@tpl.org
Cortina Vann, MA Affordable Housing Alliance, cvann@mahahome.org

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BOSTON – The Yes for a Better Boston (YBB) alliance, which helped pass the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Boston on the November 8, 2016 election, is calling for grassroots involvement in CPA implementation in Boston at a City Council hearing on March 23. YBB is a broad and diverse coalition of groups working with the Walsh Administration and City Councilors to ensure that the implementation of CPA is transparent, equitable and accountable to all Boston residents.

CPA, which passed with 74% voter support, will help Boston to create new affordable homes, preserve open space and historic sites, and develop outdoor recreational opportunities. Funds will be generated by 1% property tax surcharge matched by a statewide trust fund, with exemptions for low-income homeowners and the first $100,000 of property value. The typical Boston homeowner will pay about $24 per year towards this investment, and the City will generate approximately $20 million every year for CPA projects.

At Thursday’s hearing, the Government Operations Committee will accept testimony on the CPA Ordinance, which will spell out the membership on Boston’s first nine-member Community Preservation Committee (CPC). CPC members are expected to be appointed later this spring so they can administer the CPA program that launches on July 1. The CPA ordinance will define the committee's composition, length of member terms, how the four "at large" positions will be appointed, as well as outlining the committee’s responsibilities.

YBB hopes to participate in the nomination process of the four “at large” positions. Grassroots involvement will ensure credibility and transparency, alleviate potential concerns about politicizing grant making decisions, increase the chance that grants will be made equitably throughout the City, and better meet the needs of those in underserved neighborhoods.

“This is a special opportunity to fund historic preservation and park projects, while creating much-needed affordable homes for families, seniors and veterans, and producing jobs,” said Joseph Kriesberg, West Roxbury resident, President of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. “Involving Boston’s grassroots in appointing members of the CPC, and making sure funds are distributed equitably is critical to a successful CPA program in Boston.”

    YBB is also advocating for:
  • Public access to CPC decisions, activities, projects and hearings;
  • Public reports that describe grants, including a map showing the geographic distribution of CPA projects;
  • An independent CPA Office with dedicated staff overseen by the CPC, and housed in a neutral department in the City;
  • Public hearings held by the CPC in neighborhoods throughout the City;
  • Term limits for CPC members to enable active participation of new members and to bring new ideas and experiences to the CPC;
  • Determination of allocation of CPA revenues to be done on an annual basis based on input from public hearings, data on need, and number of “shovel-ready” projects.

"The effort to pass and now implement CPA has, from the beginning, been a remarkably cooperative effort between the historic preservation, parks, and affordable housing communities,” said Greg Galer, executive director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “We support a process for selecting CPC members who are passionate about projects that don't just meet these needs in individual but who encourage projects that cross and merge these boundaries. Affordable housing in adapted and preserved historic buildings and the restoration of historic parks will benefit all neighborhoods of the city."

YBB will continue to work with officials in the Walsh Administration and City Council to ensure that CPA is implemented in fairly and equitably.

To learn more about the Community Preservation Act, CLICK HERE.

To research examples of CPA projects in the 172 Massachusetts cities and towns that have adopted CPA, CLICK HERE.

The Yes for a Better Boston Steering Committee includes Allston-Brighton CDC, Boston Park Advocates, Boston Preservation Alliance, Chinese Progressive Association, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Friends of the Public Garden, Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Historic Boston, Inc., Mass Affordable Housing Alliance, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, Mass Association of Community Development Corp, New England United for Justice, Right to the City Boston, and The Trust for Public Land.

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Nonprofits - Yes You Can Advocate and Now's the Time

February 15th, 2017 by

Amidst the chaos of the past couple weeks there has been at least one positive change—a lot more people are starting to stand up and speak out about issues that concern them. I have personally had people seek out my advice for their first-ever calls to legislators and spoken to many first-time protestors. Many, many, more individuals have dramatically stepped up their commitments (myself included) to call, write, show up, and be a visible presence for justice in the world. 

The nonprofit sector needs to make a similar shift, organizationally. For a long time, many of us left the advocacy to the 501(c)4s, to our national organizations, to the organizing groups.

Continue reading on Rooflines

 

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STATE TAX CREDIT GENERATES $12.8 MILLION FOR HIGH IMPACT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

January 4th, 2017 by

More than $12.8 million in new private philanthropy was invested in high-impact, resident-led community development in 2014 and 2015 thanks to an innovative new state tax credit, according to a report released today by Next Street Financial.  The report is the first third-party evaluation conducted of the Massachusetts Community Investment Tax Credit, a program that was signed into law in 2012 and took effect in 2014.  The report was commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Boston.

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Executive Summary (PDF)

Report (PDF)

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The Community Investment Tax Credit is a 50% refundable state tax credit allocated to state-certified Community Development Corporations (CDCs) that were selected by DHCD through a competitive process to participate in the program to increase and diversify their philanthropic support. Thirty-six CDCs were selected in the program’s first year (2014) and another 14 were added in 2015.  Over the first two years of the program, the CITC attracted over 2,500 donations and $12.85 million.  The program successfully attracted 1,316 new donors to the field, including individuals, businesses, foundations and nonprofit institutions, with donations ranging from $1,000 to $500,000.  Over $5 million came from individuals – a new source of funding for many CDCs who have traditionally relied on foundations, corporations, government contracts and earned revenue.  The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley was designated as the state’s Community Partnership Fund and raised over $2.4 million for the program over those two years – nearly 1/6 of all the money generated.

“This new flexible private funding is empowering CDCs to lift their efforts to the next level,” said Joseph Kriesberg, President of the Massachusetts Association of CDCs.  “The report found that CDCs are investing these resources in community organizing, housing development, economic development, financial education and organizational capacity – all toward the goal of enabling residents to build a positive future for their families and their neighborhoods.”

In addition to the fundraising strength of the Community Investment Tax Credit, CDCs are achieving many of the program’s goals, such as deepening their organizations’ involvement in their neighborhoods and towns with new community organizing capacity and increased board engagement.  CDCs are also expanding and taking on new programs in the arts, small business assistance, health and financial counseling.  Finally, the CITC is spurring CDCs to establish new relationships with businesses, organizations and hundreds of individuals and families who may not have been aware of the CDC itself or its impact within their community.

“As a national organization with a strong local presence in Boston, we can tell you that the CITC is one of the most exciting new tools in the country for driving positive community change,” said Bob Van Meter, Executive Director of the LISC Boston office. “This tax credit is driving resources to the most effective community development groups and gives them the flexibility to design strategies and programs that are specifically tailored to the local context.  That’s incredibly valuable and unique.”

The Community Investment Tax Credit is contributing to the overall strength and substantial impact MACDC’s members are having across the Commonwealth.  In 2014 and 2015 alone, MACDC’s members invested over $1.4 billion in local communities, created or preserved 12,841 jobs, and produced or preserved 3,514 homes.  As the program continues to grow, more families will be supported, more jobs will be created and more homes will be built.

The CITC program is currently authorized through calendar year 2019, with up to $6 million in credits, representing $12 million in fundraising potential, available each year.  Donations must be between $1,000 and $2 million to qualify for the tax credit.  Many donors are also able to secure federal tax benefits for their donations.  Program advocates plan to seek legislation that will extend the program beyond 2019 and increase the credit cap in the years to come.

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Youth Program Wins the 2016 NAHYP Award!

November 17th, 2016 by

You could feel the burst of joy, appreciation, and excitement spread throughout the room when First Lady Michelle Obama presented us with one of the 2016 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Awards. Many gathered for our live viewing party to celebrate all of the hard work of our staff, students, and community that has made our Youth Development Program (YDP) such a success.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Award recognizes 12 outstanding programs from across the country. It is the Nation’s highest honor “for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities.” As an awardee, we will receive a $10,000 grant as well as “a full year of capacity-building and communications support;” allowing us to further strengthen our mission – to empower and engage individuals and families to improve their lives through high-quality affordable housing, education, and arts programs – by continuing to provide a unique opportunity that prepares young people for their futures.

Our YDP students come to us from communities all over Boston, including the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan with the drive to develop their leadership abilities, confidence, positive relationships, and job skills. We provide these youth participants with a platform to grow by opening high-quality arts & humanities learning experiences to them.

Continue reading on IBA's website...

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AG HEALEY ANNOUNCES NEW HOTLINE TO REPORT INCIDENTS OF BIAS-MOTIVATED THREATS, HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE

November 17th, 2016 by

MOTIVATED THREATS, HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE

 

BOSTON – Following reports of harassment and intimidation of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals and immigrants since Election Day, Attorney General Maura Healey today announced that her office has established a new hotline for Massachusetts residents to report such incidents.

“In Massachusetts, we will protect people’s rights, fight discrimination and keep people safe,” said AG Healey. “There are reports from around the country following the election that people have been targeted and subjected to conduct that imperils safety and civil rights. Today, I am establishing a hotline for residents to report bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence. Such conduct has no place in Massachusetts.”

The hotline will be managed by attorneys and staff in the AG’s Office. While not every incident will be appropriate for legal action, the AG’s Office will be tracking reports and appropriate matters may be referred to local law enforcement or the Attorney General’s Criminal Bureau.

Any Massachusetts resident who has witnessed or experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or violence may call the Attorney General’s Hotline at 1-800-994-3228 or fill out a civil rights complaint form at this link. Residents may also contact the AG’s Office through its social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

Potential hate crimes – including bias-motivated assault, battery, and property damage – should also be reported to the local police in the first instance. Residents who fear for their immediate safety should call 911. 

Most hate crimes are prosecuted by the local District Attorney’s Office. However, in some cases, the offender may also be prosecuted civilly, either in addition to criminal charges or instead of criminal charges, by the AG’s Office under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA).

The MCRA protects the rights of all residents and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion. The MCRA protects the right to use public parks and transportation, walk on public streets, attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights. Under the MCRA, the Attorney General may bring legal action against a perpetrator who threatens, intimidates, or coerces another person on the basis of that person’s membership in a protected group (e.g., race, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability) or protected activity (e.g., exercising the right to vote or the right to associate).

Whether it’s potential hate crimes, housing discrimination, or wage theft, the AG’s Office encourages immigrant communities to come forward with their concerns without fear of reprisal based on immigration status.

For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Office website.

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Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund Launched

September 7th, 2016 by

Due to the unprecedented drought conditions in Massachusetts this summer, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have announced a Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund to assist the state’s farms and agriculture-related small businesses affected by these conditions.

Farms and small businesses impacted by the drought can apply for micro-loans of $5,000 to $10,000 from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), which will make up to $1 million in loan funds available, according to state officials.

“This new loan fund will provide affordable working capital loans to small businesses, including family farms grappling with a downturn in business caused by this prolonged drought,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Additionally, we are activating all of our business development channels, to remind consumers that Massachusetts farmers markets and farm stands still have top-quality produce for sale, and they have our full support.”

MGCC is responsible for funding the loan, managing the loan portfolio, collecting payments and overseeing all decision-making regarding loan approval.

“We are pleased to offer support to struggling family farms and related businesses hit hard by the drought,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “Our team will provide prompt review of each application and work to help local farmers in need.”

“This financial support will help farm-related businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost revenue due to the drought,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Investment.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of Massachusetts experienced ‘severe drought’ conditions this summer, while a few places reached ‘extreme drought’ status.

In August, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, issued this information about the drought conditions in portions of Massachusetts.

Officials estimate the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will run through November 2016. For more information and an online application, visit MassGCC.com or call 617-337-2803.

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Asian Community Development Corporation Welcomes Angie Liou as Executive Director

August 23rd, 2016 by

The Board of Directors of Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), a 29-year-old nonprofit developer in Boston, has selected Angie Liou as Executive Director.  Angie officially assumes this role on Monday, August 22, after having served as the Acting Executive Director since July 2015.

“I am truly humbled and grateful for the Board’s belief in me, and thank them for their support over the past year.  I am excited for this opportunity to continue to deepen and expand ACDC’s work in the Asian American community in Greater Boston.  As residents experience the pressures of gentrification and displacement, innovative community development strategies are required to ensure that working families and immigrants can continue to thrive in our communities, ” said Liou.  

Under Angie’s leadership in the past year, ACDC has increased capacity to offer housing counseling and financial wellness program in Malden; organized civic engagement initiatives reaching more than 3,000 registered Asian voters in the Greater Boston area; opened the new, affordable rental development at One Greenway to 95 families; as well as begun construction of 51 affordable condo units in Chinatown.

Previously, Angie served as the Director of Real Estate, overseeing ACDC’s development projects, such as One Greenway, which received more than 4,400 rental applications. Angie has more than 10 years of experience in affordable housing development.  She has worked as a consultant and project manager in Seattle and Philadelphia assisting nonprofits in implementing their vision of providing safe and affordable housing, and has served as the project lead on over $95 million worth of developments.

Janelle Chan, ACDC’s outgoing Executive Director, leaves her longtime position at ACDC to serve as an executive on the real estate team of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).  “I have known no greater professional challenge and personal gratification than from our affordable housing and community building work thus far.  In my new role at the MBTA, which is one of the largest landowners in Massachusetts, I hope to spur the creation of community-transforming projects that are sustainable and transit-oriented,” said Chan.

The Board of Directors voted to bring Angie on as the Executive Director.  Paul W. Lee, ACDC’s Board President and founding Board Member, reflected on the decision: “Angie's outstanding work as our Director of Real Estate and as Acting Executive Director for the past year while Janelle was on leave for a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University has clearly demonstrated that she is ready to lead ACDC.  We are very excited to have Angie's professional talents and her passion for our community as ACDC continues to pursue our mission to build affordable housing and preserve and enhance our community.” 

Lee added, “Under Janelle's leadership, ACDC achieved recognition as one of the Commonwealth's leading community development corporations. During this time, Janelle also emerged as a strong and effective community advocate and leader. While we are very sorry to lose her to the MBTA, the entire Greater Boston community will benefit from Janelle's commitment to better align the MBTA's real estate activities to the needs of our communities.”

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The Fenway CDC's Partnership with Children's Hospital - A Discussion with Kris Anderson

August 18th, 2016 by

A conversation between Kris Anderson and Kavya Sekar.

1. How did you and Fenway CDC get involved with Boston Children’s Hospital?

Boston Children’s asked FCDC to serve on a community advisory board to help advise the hospital on its efforts to improve the health and well-being of families in the Fenway neighborhood, especially low-income and minority families which are most impacted by health and healthcare inequities.

 

2. What assets do you bring to the board coming from a Community Development Corporation? 

​From my many years as an employment specialist, case manager and counselor and through my work with the Fenway Family Coalition, I bring a detailed understanding of both the strengths and needs of Fenway families as well as the ability and credibility to advocate on behalf of those families.  

a.  What other kinds of organizations are on the advisory board and how do you all work together? What assets do the different types of organizations bring to the table? 

Other members of the CAB include representatives of the Mayor’s Office, Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston Public Schools (BPS), Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, Jamaica Plain Coalition, Smart from the Start, Sociedad Latina, Roxbury Boys and Girls Club and the South End Community Health Center, as well as unaffiliated residents of Fenway, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plan and Roxbury.  All of the community-based CAB members were asked to join because of their knowledge of and ability to advocate for their community, so there is a great deal of camaraderie and a sense of common purpose. The city agencies on the CAB include the major child-service organization in the city, BPS, and the City’s public health organization, BPHC, both of which have a detailed understanding of the strengths and gaps in services for children and families as well as the policies that impact children and families. The community-based representatives work well with the city agency representatives and see our work together as an opportunity to leverage their resources and clout to improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital.

b.  How do the different types of organizations on the board come into agreement for how to best promote health in the community? 

CAB members play an active role in developing the hospital’s triennial community needs assessment, which is intended to identify the most pressing community health needs. CAB members do so by advising the hospital directly and by coordinating focus groups to enable the hospital to hear directly from the families that the needs assessment is designed to serve. Decision-making within the CAB about how to prioritize community health investments is done through consensus, which has worked well and reflects our common interest.

3.     For Fenway CDC, what is the relationship between community development and health? How does the Community Health Initiative fit into your mission as an organization?
 
Six years ago, through the Binney St. Community Health Initiative, Boston Children’s’ and FCDC agreed to provide funding for my position and to expand my responsibilities to include advising families living in FCDC- managed housing on eligibility for and accessing of government benefits, social services, health insurance and healthcare, in addition to employment counseling. The role, now referred to as Director of Community Programs also works in the capacity of a Resident Services Manager, which is closer to a traditional Community Health Worker role in that I connect families with medical, social, government and employment services that promote their overall health and well-being. I also coordinate educational workshops that bring Boston Children’s experts into the community to provide parents with information on everything from managing their child’s asthma to parenting a teen. In addition, I, along with my CAB colleagues, have spent the past year advocating with and educating the hospital about the need to address affordable housing as a public health issue.  This has resulted in the hospital joining a broad-based coalition that is advocating for legislative changes that will address children’s health, hunger and homelessness. It has also resulted in Boston Children’s forming a collaboration with Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Horizons for Homeless Children to better identify and connect homeless patient families with the services and resources they need to stabilize their lives and maintain their health. In addition, Boston Children’s recently entered into an unprecedented agreement with Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services to provide Housing Creation Linkage funds for a 45-unit affordable family housing development before the Boston Children’s project that would generate the Housing Linkage has received all the necessary State approvals, placing the funds 100% at-risk. So, in addition to expanding the range and quality of services available to FCDC resident families, this partnership fits into FCDC’s mission as an advocate for increasing and diversifying the resources available for affordable housing. 

a.  Does your work on community health precede the relationship with Children’s- if so, how? What were you doing before to connect community development to health? 

FCDC’s partnership with Boston Children’s has helped us to recognize that health doesn’t begin in the doctor’s office or the hospital, but in the homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces. Using that definition, I’ve been working to improve community health for a number of years by coordinating the Walk to Work Program, a partnership with the Longwood Medical Area hospitals to train and employ community residents for careers in the health sector. 

4. What programs at Fenway CDC have resulted from your involvement in the community health initiative? How has being involved with Children’s shaped your organization’s work? 

Participation in the Community Health Initiative has resulted in a 50% increase in Fenway Family Coalition membership, in part, through additional offerings such as Fenway CDC’s first health fair and through hospital-supported workshops on asthma, nutrition, infant health, adolescent health, mental health, smoking cessation, Weight Watchers, CPR and Zumba.  In addition, we’ve established a walking club, which, among other things, is promoting an increased sense of community among residents. 

5.  What advice do you have for other CDCs for working with hospitals on community health initiatives and serving on advisory boards for hospital community programs? 

One major way that healthcare institutions/organizations can play a part in community development activities beyond their traditional role of providing health care services is by supporting asset-building programs and affordable housing initiatives. These are areas where healthcare organizations are involved in direct community development activities. Of course, when forming an advisory board, you need to understand its purpose, but you also need to know what specific skills to seek. My advice in working with hospitals on community health initiatives and serving on advisory boards for hospital community programs would be to look for individuals with diverse skills, expertise and experience. You want members to be problem-solvers who are quick studies, have strong communications skills and are open minded. Getting a heavyweight on your Advisory Board can be a big bonus and will give you credibility, but not always. It’s also important to have members who are going to spend the time to give you thoughtful and candid advice, who represent and reflect the community, are well-connected and willing to make introductions to community members who are in the trenches doing the grassroots organizing and outreach for those community residents who are in dire need of our resources the most.   

 

 

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