On behalf of the Executive Directors, community engagements specialists, project coordinator, frontline staff of our local nonprofits, and the hundreds of community members who had the opportunity to have their voices heard through the Empower Evanston Campaign, we extend our gratitude to Evanston Cradle to Career for the opportunity to come together with a unique focus on improving our “Collective” work in service to Evanston’s youth and their families.
Identifying the priority areas based on our community survey (English and Spanish Versions) and feedback from our frontline staff, we developed the following objectives to guide our work:
Opportunities for Evanston Youth
- Research and identify best practices and then implement most appropriate model for engaging 18-26-year olds in decision-making and wider community engagement/outreach; and
- Develop opportunity pipelines for young people of color into the local nonprofit sector.
Housing/Food Insecurity/Basic Human Needs
- Pool individual resources and grants for use by frontline, lead agencies (e.g., Connections for Homelessness, Curt’s Café, and Erie Family Health Center);
- Participate in Joining Forces for Affordable Housing, rotating participation and involving current/former patients or clients; and
- Join Connections for the Homeless’ efforts with the Alliance to End Homelessness in developing a Coordinated Community Plan to prevent and end youth homelessness in Evanston.
Mental Health Services
- Conduct a monthly “pulse check” of critical institutions such as emergency responders, schools and other human service organizations to determine where increased need is showing up;
- Make Mental Health First Aid training available throughout the community to increase our ability to support community members;
- Create a unified list of available mental health supports and share the list with all partners;
- Explore expansion of referral/access points to increase community knowledge of available services; and
- Experiment with co-locating services and sharing mental health professional resources (e.g., sharing clinical supervision, etc.).
Early Childhood Care & Education
- Participate in the Evanston Early Childhood Council for bi-directional learning;
- Offer training on the impact on 0-5 brain development; and
- Distribute tailored information to clients and patients about 0-5 brain development and the availability of local services/resources.