live / 2018
#ResilientLA: Building Healthy Individuals, Organizations, and Communities
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
In areas with a high-density of marginalized and under-resourced peoples, we seek to increase community resilience by repairing the community-based human care safety net. Through ongoing compassion fatigue and holistic resilience-building workshops, partner organization workers will be better able to meet the needs of the people they serve and have the bandwidth to begin the critical dialogue around translating personal resilience to the community level.
Which of the live metrics will your activation impact?
- Resilient communities
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- South LA
- South Bay
- Antelope Valley
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- Trainings and/or in-person engagements
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to live?
Dependent on people, place, policy, and culture, community resilience is a vital component of a healthy and thriving Los Angeles. However, top-down resilience-building initiatives marginalize the voices of the most vulnerable among us, and inclusive resilience-building initiatives bank on the participation of people who are already overwhelmed and under-resourced. The organizations that provide the services, education, and support to these vulnerable populations are the backbone of LA’s human safety care net. These are the groups that do gang prevention/intervention, wraparound services to youth in foster care and probation systems, legal and educational services for undocumented immigrants, primary health and dental care to low-income people, and supportive housing for those without homes. Their front-line staff, organizers, and volunteers often share some of the same vulnerabilities of the people they serve, and the work itself is challenging and draining. Although it is well known that vicarious trauma and significant burnout are commonplace, funding challenges prevent organizations from providing the support their people need to make programs and initiatives effective and sustainable. If the people supporting the community are stumbling under the weight of their work, the community itself suffers and does not have the bandwidth to engage with large-scale change efforts. To activate community level resilience, we need to take a foundational step; we need to grow the resilience of the people on the front lines of the safety net. By resourcing and connecting the professionals, peer specialists, and community members, the people who are needed to make systems change will have the needed social-emotional support and actually be change-ready.
Our project begins by bringing committed partner organizations together into two regional community focus groups (South Bay/South LA and Antelope Valley), where we will learn more about their specific challenges and strengths. Based on this information, we will develop and deliver 30 compassion fatigue and resilience-building workshops using a curriculum based on The Resilience Toolkit, a holistic evidence-informed practice and process with a demonstrated track record in the LA area. Trauma-informed and culturally competent perspectives will be woven into the entire program. We will certify 24 key community partner representatives and provide technical assistance to organizations to develop ongoing programming for staff and volunteers. As the organizations’ worker capacity and internal resources increase, we will mentor them in establishing similar programming for their clients, students, or members. We will conduct a comprehensive program evaluation. The program will culminate in a series of regional convenings of partner organizations, other community stakeholders, and funders to discuss how the outcomes of the program can leverage their increased personal/organizational resilience to the community level.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to live
Our activation targets the LA County Service Planning Areas with the highest rates of housing instability and poverty: Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Palmdale), South Bay (Long Beach, Wilmington, San Pedro, Harbor City) and South LA (Watts, Compton, South LA). These areas have a population of 3 million residents, the majority of which are people of color, primarily Latino and black.
Through community-based direct services, education, and activism, our partner organizations have 849 workers, comprised of licensed professionals, peer specialists, organizers, and volunteers. They currently serve 123,200 people annually and outreach to thousands more, focusing on particularly vulnerable populations, including foster youth, LGBTQ individuals, justice system-involved individuals, immigrants, and gang members. The workers in these organizations have requested strategies and resources to grow their personal resilience in the face of the difficult nature of their work. They are hungry for effective tools that they can in turn share with their constituents. Onsite training will facilitate participant engagement, and ongoing individualized and cohort-based technical assistance will provide sustained commitment.
For the culminating dissemination and planning meetings, we will conduct targeted outreach to local community-based organizations, funders, and community members to join with participants in a series of three convenings to review the program results and discuss possible next steps.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
Our activation will be successful when:
At least 100,000 Angelenos involved with and receiving services from our partner organizations are recipients of care and contact with workers who are stable, engaged, and present as the result of completing the activation program.
There is decreased burnout and vicarious trauma in partner organization workers as measured by a validated research instrument (Professional Quality of Life Scale 5).
There is increased resilience in partner organization workers and a representative sample of their constituents as measured by a validated research instrument (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale 10) and qualitative program evaluation
There is improved community effectiveness scores in partner organization workers and a representative sample of their constituents on the three subscales of the “people” cluster (social networks and trust; participation and willingness to act for the common good; and norms and culture) of the Prevention Institute’s Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments.
Each culminating dissemination/planning meetings is attended by participant organizations and at least eight additional local organizations and/or funders.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
In five years, we hope this activation will:
Have demonstrated the importance of resourcing community organizations and members before and concurrently with any large-scale change efforts.
Have deeply embedded worker wellness in the culture of community-based organizations.
Inspire an organizational resilience and wellness funding initiative trend by the majority of the major LA-based funders.
Kindle a community-wide interest in learning personal resilience-building skills to expand capacity for wellness and large-scale change efforts that address place-based factors and structural inequities.
Inspire replication projects.
In five years, we hope our organization will:
Have used this activation evaluation data as a starting point for in-depth exploration studies on the impact of The Resilience Toolkit on workers and volunteers experiencing burnout and vicarious trauma.
Continue to research, test, and implement frameworks, approaches, and tools for holistic transformation of individuals, organizations, and systems.
Deepen our current community-based and systems level involvement with county-wide efforts to ensure the health and wellbeing of Angelenos.
Cultivate a community of practice comprised of practitioners, strategists, innovators, and activists.