As an ongoing process, to keep a pulse on the issues surrounding the community, United Way of Greater Lafayette holds community conversations with a range of community members in Tippecanoe County. Using an outward turning approach and kitchen table style conversations, participants answer a series of questions in hopes of documenting their aspirations for the Greater Lafayette community. Main concerns in the conversations have included: mental health & substance use, crime and drugs, diversity and inclusion, communication about events and services, accessibility/transportation and youth engagement. These themes help us derive our strategic priorities for the newly created RFP process. United Way has made it a priority to continue these types of conversations to evaluate the needs and service gaps in the community.
United Way's goal is to meet with a diverse group of people with different thoughts and ideals on an ongoing basis. If you have a group you think would be interested in participating you may request a conversation with the link below.
RESILIENCE & RECOVERY NETWORK (formerly the Opioid Task Force)
The Tippecanoe County Opioid Taskforce is a community collaboration to address substance abuse and mental health needs in our community. The community is focusing around four key areas-prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement. There have been some key projects that have come out of the collaboration such as the Quick Response Team, and various collaborations on grant proposals to benefit the community. We have implemented the Strategic Doing approach to complex community collaborations in order to continue moving forward as a community to address this difficult issue.
MENTAL HEALTHCARE FORUM
The Mental Healthcare Forum was a gathering of leaders who aimed to address the shortage of mental health workforce, reimbursement rates, and the continuum of care for individuals receiving services. Through community collaborations, the MHA Mental Health Navigator program and NAMI Trusted Mentor program came about. It also influenced the creation of a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at Purdue University, with partners stepping up to provide start-up funding and scholarships for local individuals interested in obtaining additional training. The group also advocated for legislation.
SOLUTIONS BEYOND SHELTER
In 2012 a steering commitee was formed to conduct a thorough, thoughtful and intentional exploration of implementation strategies to prevent and end homelessness. This process was called a Charrette. The Charrette was conducted by Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and began with community meetings to narrow down key issue areas around homelessness in Tippecanoe County and the surrounding areas. Once the key areas had been selected an intense week long Charrette process ensued as a method to analyze, discern and make difficult decisions about moving forward on complicated and complex issues. The meetings were open to the public and all input and recommendations from community members went into the final recommendations from Corporation for Supportive Housing. This Solutions Beyond Shelter plan has been used to create implementation strategies to address, prevent, and end homelessness in our community. One key project coming from this work is the Engagement Center which celebrated its grand opening in January 2020.
COMMUNITY COMMITTMENT TO EDUCATION (CCTE)
This collaboration began as a collective impact model to address education needs in our community. The group first focused on early grade reading by developing the Read to Succeed program. This initiative places volunteers in local K-3 classrooms for one hour per week to assist students in growing their reading skills so they can be reading on grade level by the end of third grade, an important predictor of high school graduation. Community Commitment to Education has also served as a think tank regarding education in our community and has considered or implemented other work such as Born Learning Academy, On My Way Pre-K and others.