COMPASS Hosts The Boston Foundation’s “Community Connections” Meeting

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On Wednesday, September 29th, COMPASS was pleased to host The Boston Foundation’s "Community Connections" meeting with stakeholders and leaders in the Bowdoin/Geneva community. The meeting provided an opportunity for representatives from over 20 community civic and nonprofit agencies to discuss and share their concerns with staff from The Boston Foundation, including Paul Grogan, President and CEO, and Robert Lewis Jr., Vice President of Programs. COMPASS Executive Director, John Lydon was joined by Board members and staff in welcoming Bowdoin/Geneva neighbors to our facility.

Robert Lewis extended his appreciation to those in attendance with the following message:

"I wanted to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend the Community Connections session Wednesday, September 29th and to John Lydon at Compass School for hosting. I appreciated you sharing the opportunities and challenges in the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood and was inspired by your continued commitment to Boston youth and families."

A few key highlights from the session:

  • Jobs are a major "hook" to engage youth and young adults with available neighborhood services. The challenge is being able to immediately respond when someone expresses interest in a job. Once a youth is "hooked" with a job, leaders expressed the need for comprehensive case management for youth AND their families.
  • The Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood would be a good area for a "place-based" style initiative but session attendees identified the need to better define the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood boundaries.
  • Organizations are collaborating but session attendees acknowledged that a greater level of coordination could occur to leverage efforts across organizations.
  • Session attendees questioned the lack of connection with non-traditional types of philanthropy (i.e., social entrepreneurs, venture philanthropists).
  • The need and desire to increase involvement and participation of area residents and effective ways to organize community were discussed.
  • Attendees expressed an interest in opening avenues for education and increased learning for their staff recognizing the passion their staff has for the neighborhood and the need for succession planning for organizations.

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