Sunday, January 24, 2010

Strengthening Ward 1 - 72 strong!

Seventy-two people representing more than 50 organizations and civic associations packed a room at Girard Recreation Center for two hours on January 22, 2010 to kick off the new collaborative effort Strengthening Ward One Together.   The energy was palpable and exciting and clearly demonstrated the need for and interest in a coming together to better help our neighbors in Ward 1.

The group that convened at Columbia Heights Youth Club (in Girard Rec) generated an incredibly insightful and useful list of needs, assets, things to improve, and most importantly next steps.   Next steps include:

  • In-service training on the SWOT blog - how to make the best use of it and how to contribute
  • Workshops to improve the skills of staff
  • Improving networking among and between service providers and the government

By the close of business on January 22, the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative, which is facilitating the collaboration, had sent minutes from the meeting and the needs/assets/improvements/next step ideas (link above).   The Collaborative also announced the next big meeting and smaller group meetings:

  • Next SWOT meeting:   Mark your calendars for the next SWOT meeting, February 19 from 9:30 to 11:30 am at the Columbia Heights Youth Club/Girard Rec Center.   During this meeting we will finalize next steps for the coming months based on all the feedback from the initial meeting.
  • Sign up for SWOT blog notices:   Visit to sign up for daily email updates of blog posts.   If you have specific events/ideas/data to share, send them to swotdc (at) gmail (dot) com.   If the information you want posted on the blog is also on your Web site, let us know by sharing the URL.
  • Data meeting:   Contact Jess Quaranto (jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org) if you are interested in participating in a the data work of discussing the service organization inventory, Ward 1 fact sheet, and service needs/assets survey.   The meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 5 at 1:00 pm.
  • SWOT blog working group:   Contact Susie Cambria (susie (dot) cambria (at) gmail (dot) com) to get involved specifically with maintaining and transforming the current blog to meet the needs of all SWOT members.   This group will also meet in the next couple weeks before the next large group meeting.
  • Review the action steps and consider leading a subcommittee:   Please review the next steps (see link above) and decide how you or your organization would like to participate in taking the next steps.   If you are interested in specific efforts and would like to lead a subcommittee, contact Jess Quaranto (jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org).

If you missed the first meeting, no matter -- there is plenty to do and we welcome you to join the work!

Finally, if you have questions about the future of this collaborative effort or follow-up materials, contact Jess Quaranto (jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org).

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