This effort began with the Jesus Center leadership and Board of Directors taking a step back from looking at the growing issue of homelessness solely from the perspective of their own organization.
Instead, they made a concerted effort to use a “community lens” to identify the strengths and core competencies of other agencies and service providers to determine gaps in services and opportunities to collaborate for enhanced efficiencies and outcomes.
Their assessment led to a nearly two-year research effort to identify emerging best practices that will work in Chico. Board and staff members travelled to 10 cities throughout the West to evaluate successful homeless service agencies and nonprofit organizations. Their goal was to identify tangible strategies and learn what is and is not working to effectively address the rising tide of homelessness and its effect on individuals, businesses, neighborhoods, and public resources.
Through this research and through prayer, the Jesus Center leadership clearly identified a significant opportunity to create systemic changes in Chico using innovative strategies and promising best practices to resolve key barriers to housing, independence and wholeness.
The following agencies are formally working together with the Jesus Center on this new facility and approach: City of Chico, Butte County Behavioral Health, Butte County Public Health, DESS, Enloe Medical Center, Ampla Health, 211, Safe Space Winter Shelter, Veterans Resource Center, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, Butte County Office of Education, Community Action Agency, Salvation Army, Youth for Change, Torres Community Shelter, North Valley Catholic Social Services, and Butte College.
We have been in regular consultation with Chico Chamber of Commerce, North Valley Community Foundation, County of Butte, Downtown Chico Business Association, Greater Chico Homeless Task Force and the Butte County Continuum of Care to provide insight, support, great questions, and best practices.
Our research into models throughout the state and country is ongoing. We are canvassing for the most effective services from the human change perspective as well as the operational, structural, and community impact perspectives.