Giving the community a grade | SierraSun.com

Giving the community a grade

Christine Stanley

If Truckee and neighboring towns were given a grade for the quality and comprehensiveness of health, educational, and social service programs, what would it to be?The Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, a group of 35 community advocates and service providers from Truckee and the surrounding areas, wants to gather the insight and information necessary to give Truckee that grade. In particular, the Collaborative is interested in assessing community needs in the areas of health, education, and social services, according to Community Collaborative director Kim Bradley. They will be looking for gaps and overlap in order to build, reform, and cut-back on area services. “We want to know what we are doing to better the lives of people in the community,” said Bradley. “And to find that out, we want to have a conversation on the community level about what is important to us. It’s about investing in the people who live here.”That conversation will take place on Nov. 9, and the entire community is invited to share interests and concerns. Do we need greater access to emergency preparedness information? Are medical services in the area expansive enough to accommodate a growing population? Service providers give assessments and surveys of their contributions and value, but according to Bradford, the views that really count are the citizens’.”Our community is changing and we want to determine goals and a way for the community to direct the outcome,” Bradley said. “We would like to identify priority areas and create clear outcomes with measurable data that shows community impact.”To fund the project, which will include creating committees to study target areas and facilitate change, the SH Cowell Foundation, a non-profit organization from San Francisco that has helped fund more than a dozen community development projects in the Kings Beach area, has granted $260,000 to be paid over the next three years. “We’ve learned from the Kings Beach community that we cant look at towns in this area in isolation, we have to look at things regionally,” said Lise Maisano, senior programs officer for SH Cowell. “The influx of second-home owners and the changing demographic has created fragmentation and we want to help enhance and expand resources.”