Building Bridges Across Chicago
Mercy Home recently hosted the inaugural Community Partners meeting. The meeting featured a presentation on one of the most pressing issues faced by at-risk youth, and also served as an opportunity to foster professional relationships among those in the child services field.
Organized by coworkers Juan Medina, Alexa Frenn, and Nora Schuman-Moore, the goal of these quarterly meetings is to connect social service professionals (e.g. social workers, case managers, therapists, care coordinators), as well as to educate everyone on the resources available in our field. By building a network of support, agencies throughout the Chicagoland area will be better equipped to meet the needs of our young people.
Among the organizations invited were those who have partnered with the Agency in some capacity, whether by referring children to the Home or providing resources for our young people to heal, learn and grow. Mercy Home co-workers were also welcome to participate in the discussion, and many members from Youth Programs took the opportunity to learn more about organizations that have worked with the Home.
Representatives from 10 organizations attended the meeting, including La Casa Norte, who serve youth and families struggling with homelessness; Thresholds, which works to meet the needs of those struggling with mental illness; The Harbour, which provides emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless youth; Year Up, which gives young people the tools and opportunities to build promising careers.
Each person introduced themselves and details about his or her agency, and a guest speaker from Catholic Charities shared a synopsis of her latest research on homeless youth.
“The community partners meeting this past week was incredibly productive and uplifting,” said Alexa Frenn. “It was truly inspiring to see so many organizations in one room connecting and sharing resources. This collaboration will open doors and opportunities for our current, former, and future Mercy Home youth.”
“By coming together, these community partners strengthen the social network in order to ensure young people get lifesaving support in a timely and effective manner,” added Juan Medina.
The second Community Partners meeting will be held in three months at Year Up.
Kudos to Juan, Alexa, and Nora for building a network of support to better meet the needs of our young people.