USI’s Columbus and Sacramento have used the power of networking to secure reliable partnerships to provide much-needed events throughout the community that residents can rely on.
By: Janéa Hampton
USI prides itself on building trust in our communities to continue our commitment to pushing our residents to become thriving, stable individuals. Health & Wellness, a key pillar in our framework allows us to ensure that there is a wide range of preventative care & activities to support the communities that we serve. USI’s Columbus & Sacramento have used the power of networking to secure reliable partnerships to provide much-needed events throughout the community that residents can rely on. In most of our sites there are over 50% of women who are the heads of households along with being single mothers with 2 or more individuals in the home. It is imperative that we build a safe sense of community.
Community Day at Legacy Pointe at Poindexter
Community Day has been a saving grace for the Legacy Pointe at Poindexter. A tradition started 3 years ago in 2021 and has now become an event the Legacy Pointe at Poindexter Complex residents and staff have looked forward to. Community Day centers the residents and the community as they gather and connect on topics central to their health and wellness needs.
Senior Family Support Specialist Tifani Kendrick stated, “Community Day has been a huge success each year due to every agency being excited to do something in and with the residents of the community. Community Day has been able to provide the connectivity and community people needed especially after dealing with COVID-19.”
Community Day is important because it allows staff and over 30+ agencies to engage with the residents in volunteerism and allows the community something big to look forward to in the coming year. The focus and the atmosphere are positive, allowing the neighbors to get to know each other and build a community based on trust, well-being, and care, which has become the language of Legacy Pointe at Poindexter Complex. The last component of Community Day is how USI cultivates connections between agencies we don’t often partner with, allowing us to collaborate on deeper alignment and greater impact.
USI partners with organizations such as the American Heart Association and the YMCA to cater to all age groups and needs. The community learns about different topics, such as why having a good pair of shoes is essential. The residents look at this event as a tradition, and even though it is only the 3rd year, it has been influential and impactful in their lives. It has allowed the children to meet the other children in the neighborhood, along with the parents being able to introduce themselves, creating a safer environment for children to feel comfortable outside.
Read about Poindexter Village’s 2023 Community Day in the news:
Partnering with Samuel Merritt University, School of Nursing
With Community Day being such a pivotal event in the community, having partners that believe in the work of USI doesn’t go unnoticed. Partners such as Columbus Public Health Department and Samuel Merritt University, College of Nursing believe in the well-being of our families living in our communities. USI’s Sacramento at Mirasol Village has partnered with Samuel Merritt University, College of Nursing by providing rotational programs for their nursing school 3rd-year students. The rotational program will focus on Community Health which will provide health and wellness to the residents of Mirasol Village.
Starting this summer, it consists of a 10-week course that will be offered every Summer, Spring, and Fall. The students can come to Mirasol Village on most Tuesdays to allow students to build on their skillsets weekly. Health and wellness are key components of how USI works towards making all children and families stable and thriving. Samuel Merritt University and USI’s Sacramento began their partnering relationship during COVID-19 efforts back in 2019.
Rodney Flakes, a Senior Family Support Specialist explained, “This partnership is extremely important because it allows the residents to receive ample assistance in the health and wellness space which also allows students in the rotation clinical program to receive hands-on experience that counts towards receiving their degrees. For USI to receive a partnership of this magnitude takes space and a willingness to be open to something new.”
During the summer, the rotation clinical students will focus on teaching swim classes so that residents can learn how to swim for survival tactics and helping some residents become CPR trained. There will also be a plethora of health screenings being provided. As part of the rotation program, the students will have assessments from their professors based on what is being taught and provided to the residents of Mirasol Village along with the assistance of Flakes. There are 5 students currently participating in this special rotational program, and based on how successful it will be, a possibility of adding more students could occur.
Learning more about how these partnerships bring on positive change in our communities gives USI the opportunity to build stronger partnerships and connections with our families in the community. We use the feedback from our partners, staff, and residents to gain a better perspective on what is needed to ensure we are on the right path to bringing much-needed resources that our families can use. Caring about the well-being of our communities allows us to build connections that ensure families are being heard, taken care of, and seen.
To learn more about how USI partners in communities, visit Our Programming Initiatives – Urban Strategies Inc