Thrives All-Collaborative Quarterly Meeting
Wednesday, April 19, 8:30am-10:00am
Village Church, Columbia Room (near Village Cafe)
330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton, OR
Topics will include an update on the Behavioral Health Initiative and discussion of a proposed new initiative focused on youth. As usual, there will be time for participants to share relevant updates and announcements.
Affordable Housing • Workforce Training
Early Learning & Youth Enrichment
Thrives promotes three strategic areas of focus that we believe will result in the greatest impact on reducing poverty and increasing economic vitality. They are:
Safe, stable, and affordable housing
Early learning and youth enrichment
These priorities include essential support services, such as health and wellness care and life skills training that increase the likelihood of successful and sustainable outcomes.
WHAT WE STAND FOR
Thrives believes that we can reverse the rapid growth of poverty in Washington County by improving access to essential resources that help establish a foundation of long-term economic security. We recognize that there is no silver bullet, no magic pill, no quick fix. But progress is possible! For every family that finds a safe, stable, and affordable home, for every person who receives training that helps land them a decent paying job, for every child whose life is enhanced by an early learning environment or youth enrichment opportunity, the ripple effect in the community is palpable.
Leverage is essential! Thrives recommends combining programs that work today in affordable housing, workforce training, and early learning/youth enrichment to increase their collective impact. For example, hard-working parents that seek affordable housing would likely benefit from workforce training to obtain better-paying jobs, and if they have young children, they may qualify to enroll them in a quality pre-K program that gives their children a head start in school.
What an excellent start to Thrives in 2023!
At January’s meeting, we received an update on the Behavioral Health Initiative, including an invitation for anyone interested in collaborative work in this area to attend the Behavioral Health Job Fair & Career Conference on Saturday, January 21 from 1:00-4:00pm at Village Church in Beaverton. More than a job fair. this event will include opportunities for cross-sector collaborative discussion, and a guest panel discussion with Jill Archer – CareOregon, Julie Ibrahim – New Narrative, Dr. Ruth Zúñiga – Raíces de Bienestar, Rep. Rob Nosse – Oregon State Legislature, Marcia Hille – Sequoia Mental Health Services, and Kevin Fitts – Oregon Mental Health Consumers Association.
We then welcomed Ingrid Solares from Adelante Mujeres and Dr. Ruth Zuniga with Raíces de Bienestar to share about the exciting work they are doing to expand Latinx behavioral health services in Washington County and beyond, partially funded by a grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, with VAN as a convening partner.
In addition, Washington County Department of Housing Services presented an update of its work, budget, timeline, and plans for community engagement.
Watch the recording here:
Wednesday, October 19 was our last quarterly meeting of 2022 for Thrives All-Collaborative. We received an excellent update on the progress and future plans of the Preschool for All Initiative in Washington County from our guests Bridget Cooke, Executive Director of Adelante Mujeres, and Olga Acuña, Director of Federal Programs at Hillsboro School District.
VAN’s Executive Director Glenn Montgomery also provided updates on the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative, including information on our upcoming jobs and career pathways event on November 9!
Our third meeting of 2022 was Wednesday, July 20, 8:30-10:00am. Cole Merkel, Co-Director of HereTogether, delivered an update on the implementation of the Supportive Housing Services measure, with a special focus on all the progress being made in Washington County. And VAN Executive Director Glenn Montgomery updated the collaborative on progress with the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative, and issued a call-to-action for organizations and individuals interested in helping with the initiative’s long-term goals, including organizations that may be able to partner with VAN on responding to RFP’s to fund the work.
We made great progress at our second Thrives quarterly meeting of the year, on April 20, 2022! With over 30 leaders representing all sectors, we discussed the challenges and ideas identified at the recent Behavioral Health Workforce Summit, and committed to harnessing the collaborative power of Thrives to help strengthen the workforce in response to the behavioral health crisis in Washington County.
With the help of Thrives partners, we can build a coalition to address the four focus areas we identified as critical:
1. Workforce development – training for new and existing staff/volunteers; development of career pathways w/high schools, community colleges, universities
2. Immediate Care – near-term improvements to support for workers and clients
3. Child Care – increasing child care capacity to support workers and clients
4. Awareness Campaign – engaging in public outreach to highlight challenges and opportunities.
Folding the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative under the auspices of Thrives engages a broad stakeholder group that has a vested interest in the issues, and uses this established forum to take some concerted actions designed to address both immediate and long-term needs.
This topic intersects with Thrives priorities because 1) lack of adequate behavioral health supports contribute to homelessness and housing instability; 2) the struggle to recruit, train, and retain behavioral health workers is a clear workforce development issue; and 3) children and youth are among those most affected by lack of behavioral health supports, and child care is also crucial to workforce recruitment.
If you missed any of our Thrives convenings, catch up now by viewing the meetings on Vision Action Network’s YouTube channel.
Access Thrives All-Collaborative Agendas and Minutes.
Be sure to join us as we continue to convene community leaders in our quarterly All-Collaborative sessions to explore issues critical to Washington County residents. Sign up to receive invitations to our upcoming meetings, and be a part of the solution!
Thrives is a collaborative of nonprofit, business, government, healthcare, education, and faith-based leaders. We believe systemic barriers prevent good people from obtaining safe, affordable housing, decent-paying jobs, and an even playing field for their children in school and life.
Investments in programs and services that remove these barriers benefit the whole community. Hard-working families are able to create a brighter future for themselves and contribute to the prosperity of the community when they have a place to call home, career-track employment, and early learning and youth enrichment opportunities for their kids. That’s a healthy return on investment!
Help us create a stronger, safer, more vibrant Washington County! Join us!