Day #112: Give with Community Services Center in Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg, VA

The Historical Triangle Community Services Center is a non-profit that rents out building space at a low cost to nine local non-profits.

The center acts as a destination for people in need of social services. People can obtain counseling, food and clothing assistance, parenting education, programs for their small children, and transportation – all under one roof.

The 9 agencies in the building (including United Way, Head Start, FISH, others…) collectively work together to improve the community.

In a lot of ways I like the idea of a central location for getting help. I wonder though: Is it always better to operate this way or if there are times when the agencies are less effective because of their proximity?

What do you think of the “one-stop-shop” model for social services? Is there anything like this in your community?

Comments

  1. I like that!

  2. This seems like a really good idea…. I guess it would help people who have transportation issues not have to manage to get all around town looking for various services… at the same time – is it centrally located in the area where people need the most help?

    • I am not sure about the location. I imagine it is in a strategic location.

      Williamsburg seems to be “well off” all over town. One organization mentioned that people in their area in need often get unnoticed because so many residents have higher then average incomes. I guess the expectation becomes that you, of course, have everything you need.

  3. I do like the concept of a community services “hub” but I have the same question as you – does it hinder some of the effectiveness of the services? I’d like to see a homeless shelter or battered women’s home or something of that nature included in the hub – maybe a non-profit that helped with job placement and education as well. It seems like those services would greatly increase the value of the hub.

    Of course – I don’t know what each of these agencies does, so they might have those things already covered!

    • My thought is that if the model of the “hub” is really more effective, we need to be multiplying it elsewhere. Unless of course, it only works well because of something special about that community.

      • Exactly. If the “hub” really is more effective why don’t we see it repeated across the country? I realize that there are differences in communities that make things work differently from place to place – but I’m sure this isn’t an isolated example of this type of community. I like to see non-profits cooperating with each other and using their combined resources to greater good than their individual resources independently applied can do. I still wonder if this is one way that could work across the country.

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