Strategic alliance enhances services and support for unique needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and families on the Lower and Outer Cape
Eastham, MA– The Cape Cod Children’s Place, Community Development Partnership and Homeless Prevention Council are pleased to announce a strategic alliance between the three organizations, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding on November 29, 2018. The alliance will enhance the services and support provided to low- and moderate-income individuals and families on the Lower and Outer Cape –allowing for more efficient service delivery, ease of access, and potential new program opportunities.
Collectively serving low- and moderate-income residents through affordable housing, early education and care, family support services, homelessness prevention, job skills and economic opportunity, the three nonprofit organizations recognized an opportunity to collaborate, enhance each of their programs and strengthen their geographic base – ultimately enabling all to better respond to the needs of the local population.
Community Development Partnership Board Vice President, Fran McClennen, said, “We three fell together naturally.” The organizations have a long history of working together, providing referrals to one another and overlapping the residents we serve. McClennen continued, “Working collaboratively to offer a menu of services and a coordinated plan to get people what they need is much more effective and efficient. Altogether, we anticipate serving our community more successfully as a result of this formal partnership.”
The three organizations have identified a number of programs with the potential for collaboration, including but not limited to – homelessness prevention, family support services, resident support services, First Time Home Buyer education, early education and care, and job training. Projects with a collaborative opportunity will be put through a vetting and review process involving the staff and boards of the respective organizations.
One of the key components driving the alliance is the unique needs of the Lower and Outer Cape. With a combined history of 76 years, the Cape Cod Children’s Place, Community Development Partnership and Homeless Prevention Council are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities in this more rural region of the Cape. The economy is more seasonal with a greater reliance on lower paying seasonal jobs. In addition, the region has rates of second home ownership in excess of 50% creating unique pressures on housing affordability. There is a long history of the region being underserved.
Cape Cod Children’s Place Executive Director, Cindy Horgan said, “Families here are really struggling. We’re seeing the demand for services from each of our organizations increasing each year. By working in collaboration, we can preserve and strengthen the region’s social safety net.”
A highlight of the alliance is its local leadership and staffing. The organizations are mainly staffed and led by people who live within the communities of the Lower and Outer Cape. Horgan commented, “It’s critical for support and services to come from here. People within a community trust people from that community. Individuals and families seek help from our organizations because they know us, they trust us.”
One of those individuals is Barbara Bell. Barbara moved to the Cape 10 years ago. She was introduced to the Cape Cod Children’s Place through a single mom’s support group. After that, her children began attending the organization’s early education and care programs. “The Cape Cod Children’s Place supports parents and families in a way no one else does in this area,” said Bell. A few years later, Barbara was introduced to the Homeless Prevention Council where she started working with one of their case managers. “Their case management program has helped me through some tough situations,” said Bell. “Together, these organizations connect you where you need to go and help you find a way. I wouldn’t be on Cape Cod without them.” When discussing the strategic alliance between the two and the Community Development Partnership, Bell said, “If they did unite, it would make a lot of sense for those who need them – I think it would be great.”
The strategic alliance evolved through a thoughtful and patient process including regular meetings of each organization’s board and staff leadership. Ongoing communication led to an environment of trust and mutual support. Richard Laraja, President of the Board of Directors for the Homeless Prevention Council said, “This process reinforced relationships and connections amongst our organizations. It has been of tremendous value to work and learn with the leadership of the Cape Cod Children’s Place and Community Development Partnership. We’re all speaking the same language and share a vision to strengthen our community.”
As for next steps, potential collaborative projects will be vetted by the groups. And, according to McClennen, “Another critical component of the work of the alliance going forward is to find the ‘missing pieces’ and determine what more needs to be done to best serve our community.” In the same vein, she noted, “This is a first step, and in the future, we would welcome other local organizations, whose missions overlap ours, to consider joining us in this collaborative effort. I am excited and inspired as we move forward with this dynamic opportunity.”
ABOUT CAPE COD CHILDREN’S PLACE
Cape Cod Children’s Place envisions our community working together to ensure that all Cape Cod families and children are safe, secure and able to reach their full potential. Families, children, and individuals receive an array of services to achieve this vision.
To find out more information about this organization, go to www.capecodchildrensplace.com.
ABOUT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP
The Community Development Partnership supports an array of programs that strengthen our Lower Cape community, providing greater opportunities for all who live here to thrive. Our work starts with creating affordable homes—so essential to a healthy economy, but a real challenge in communities like ours where seasonal and vacation dynamics drive the market beyond the reach of many who live and work locally all year round.
We also work to launch entrepreneurs and strengthen local businesses. We believe a vibrant future depends on sustaining traditional industries and inspiring new ones—especially when they’re based on renewable natural resources such as fishing and farming.
In all that we do, we aim to protect the natural environment around us through efforts that preserve the character and sustain the future of the Lower Cape.
To find out more information about this organization, go to www.capecdp.org.
ABOUT HOMELESS PREVENTION COUNCIL
Since 1991, The Homeless Prevention Council (HPC) has served more than 35,000 clients in the 8 towns of Lower Cape Cod. Their mission is to provide case management solutions to support self-sufficiency and stability. HPC helps clients with access to housing programs and funding, to maintain their housing or navigate the process of securing housing, budgeting assistance, negotiation services with creditors and landlords, fuel assistance and other financial supports including access to job training and other educational resources. HPC also offers additional programs to support community needs including Resident Services in partnership with local affordable housing providers, Adopt a Family, Backpack to School and Homeless Youth Outreach.
HPC is based in Orleans and has weekly community outreach hours in Eastham, Harwich and Provincetown.
To find out more information about this organization, go to www.hpccapecod.org.