By Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger
Many cities and towns are feeling the impact of social and economic challenges, especially with the most recent recession and increased unemployment, underemployment, increased immigration, low high school graduation rates, and high poverty. Some of those cities have decided to take these challenges head on and Brockton, MA, with about 93,000 residents and an America’s Promise Alliance community, is one of those cities. What is unique about Brockton is not that it has challenges, but that it has fostered many partnerships and relationships to improve outcomes for youth and families in the region. One of the leaders in developing those collaborations is Community Connections of Brockton.
Community Connections of Brockton partners with parents, residents, community groups, service agencies, schools, and businesses to strengthen families, neighborhoods, and community. It builds resources to prevent child abuse and neglect and increases neighborhood-based networks of support. The best way to describe the Family Center at Community Connections of Brockton is a modern day settlement house, where families can access resources from GED training to dental care to parenting training. No one lives at the offices of the organization, but the traffic of people, the number of programs, and the number of allied organizations participating makes it a dynamic hub for family resources. Community Connections of Brockton also sponsors a popular family magazine, which flies of the shelves and is offered at no cost to readers. In addition to programs, the agency also sponsors community events that bring residents together, sharing food, traditions, and dialogue.
Since August of 2012, the Community Connections of Brockton has engaged in a strategic planning process to strengthen the agency even further. Juliana Langille, Executive Director, has invited Global Spark as a resource partner on the project. As the planning process wraps up, we are excited to see the amount of partners and stakeholders contributing to decision making and action for the organization and for the community of Brockton. As with many projects in Brockton, there seems to be no limit to the amount of care and voluntary spirit its leadership, its people are willing to contribute to make it a better place for youth and families. This is community!
Visit the organization’s webpage at http://www.ccbrockton.com/.