Results from July 2015 Civic Engagement Focus Groups
In July CHEER convened two focus groups to look at the barriers to civic participation in Takoma Park and Long Branch and how to overcome them. The groups included both low income and immigrant residents. Below is a consolidated list of the barriers and six suggested areas of focus for developing strategies to overcome these barriers to civic life.
The Long Branch Partners is a collaboration of different organizations and agencies that serve the Long Branch community. A Long Branch Partners meeting led by CHEER was held last Thursday July 9th at the Long Branch Library. The purpose of the meeting was to create a common space in which local agencies and organizations working in Long Branch area can meet to share information, seek opportunities for future collaboration and begin to develop a sense of belonging to a network. At the meeting the partners assessed and discussed different community needs.
The CHEER Community Association (CCA) is a tool designed to help tenants in Long Branch and Takoma Park build and maintain community, and improve their quality of life. We help tenants start, sustain, and improve their Tenant Associations. We help tenant associations address common problems, so that tenants are informed of events, activities and resources, and prepared to meet crises when they arise. The CCA also supports and encourages tenants to participate in shared activities, get to know each other, and participate in civic affairs, such as voting in city elections. Read More
Back in April CHEER was awarded a $50,000 Healthcare Initiative Foundation grant to conduct a pilot outreach and referral program that has two major goals.
- First is to get low income uninsured people in Long Branch and Takoma Park into primary care treatment.
- Second is to help patients, to get access to social supports that help them improve their health and wellness.
This week we will be meeting with Mobile Med to propose our outreach and referral plan to give people in need in the Long Branch community access to primary medical care.
The Takoma Park Youth Collaborative just completed the “Who Wants to Work Challenge” an employment readiness training for young people ages 16 to 19. From March 4 to April 8, a total of thirty local youth participated in at least one of six sessions, with an average of 14 at each session. Seven completed the program and earned referrals for employment. Almost all the youth were participants in Making a New United People (MANUP) or Identity.