Community Highlight – The Collective

The Moran Center has been given the opportunity to work with eight other Evanston-based organizations that work with youth and their families through a grant awarded by Evanston Cradle to Career with funds from the United Way. Our partners are the City of Evanston’s Youth & Young Adult Division, Connections for the Homeless, Curt’s Café, Erie Family Health Centers, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, PEER Services, Youth Job Center, and Youth & Opportunity United. This grant will allow these organizations to join together to empower youth, families, and front-line providers to improve organizational and institutional systems with the ultimate goal of providing Evanston families with a stronger foundation in readying their children for kindergarten.

The Collective will identify barriers to services by hiring Evanston youth, who have used the Collective member organizations’ services, to perform interviews with Evanston residents in order to assess barriers, strengths, and challenges in accessing youth and family support services. These interviews will shed light on how the Collective and other organizations in Evanston can make changes to improve services. Under the leadership of a Project Coordinator, the youth leadership team will present a summary of their findings and recommendations in a public forum that Evanston community members will be able to attend. The Collective will also use this process to establish an ongoing feedback loop and partnership with consumers. 

The Collective aims to not only improve systems of support for clients, but also to empower the community – ensuring that clients/patients are part of our organizations’ leadership and decision-making going forward.

The Moran Center and the Collective, as a whole, hope that this initiative will help dismantle barriers and improve clients’/patients’ entry into systems of care, as well as coordination of community-based services.