Replacing challenges with hope through integrated community resources
At the Spokane Resource Center (SRC) our goal is to help the underserved members of our community achieve economic empowerment by increasing access to opportunities and restoring hope. We increase opportunities and restore hope by providing services which address the Four Pillars of Opportunity identified by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development: 1) Economic Empowerment, 2) Educational Attainment 3) Health and Wellness and 4) Character and Leadership. The services and resources we offer which address these pillars of opportunity include benefits and basic needs, health and wellness, housing, justice, pre-employment and financial stability.
We provide these services efficiently and effectively by using an integrated social service design. This means that we have representatives from various agencies collaborating with each other in a shared space. There are many research-supported benefits to this design, including improved communication and collaboration among agencies and improved service delivery to clients. This design can also reduce duplication of services and costs, making it possible to help more people (United States Government Accountability Office).
The concept for the SRC started with the City of Spokane in June 2017. It was an ideal project for the City since it aligns with the Spokane Strategic Plan to End Homelessness and the City of Spokane Consolidated Plan for Community Development. The City created a Project Team which included representatives from the City, the Spokane Workforce Council and the Spokane Housing Authority. Their vision was to create a space shared by multiple social service agencies which uses functional teams to provide high quality customer service and a welcoming environment.
In December 2017 the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a pilot project named the EnVision Center Demonstration. The design of this pilot project is very similar to what the City had envisioned as it also centers around co-located services and improving the economic security of community members. The City applied and was chosen as one of the 17 pilot communities to participate in this project. Since receiving the EnVision Center designation from HUD, the City has been joined by 15 local agencies in creating this innovative and progressive program. The SRC officially opened its doors on April 16, 2019 and has already helped over 500 community members reduce their barriers to achieving economic security.