November 10th through the 18th was Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and with the holiday season upon us, now is the perfect time to reflect on how we can work to ensure that everyone has access to housing and nutrition. At Heartland Alliance, we believe that in order to be a society that fosters safety, opportunity, and equity, we ALL must have access to proper nutrition and a safe, reliable place to call home. Unfortunately, thousands of our friends, family, and neighbors are facing hunger, battling food insecurity, and experiencing homelessness, which leads to negative outcomes in individuals' lives and for entire communities. Hunger and homelessness impact mental development, success in school, success in work, and overall physical well-being.
We believe that through purposeful and systemic policy change and investments in social services, no person in our state, or the nation, should go hungry or without a home. We invite you learn more about hunger, food insecurity, and homelessness through a few of our publications:
IMPACT at Facing Race 2018
Members of the the research and policy team traveled to Detroit, Michigan to attend Race Forward's Facing Race National Conference. This conference is a one-of-a-kind event that offered unprecedented access to information and resources on racial equity. Through amazing workshops, panels, and plenaries, we got to learn more about how we can apply an equity and anti-racism lens to all that we do. Read more about Facing Race from our Associate Director of Research, Lindy Carrow, who shared a bit about her experience:
"Conferences can be pretty hit or miss... keynotes can be boring, breakout sessions can feel irrelevant to your work, the food can be gross. Race Forward’s 2018 Facing Race conference didn’t fall into any of those categories. Four members of Heartland Alliance's Research and Policy team (myself included) were fortunate enough to attend, along with 3,500 other racial justice movement makers. It was inspiring to hear from the brilliant keynote speakers and panelists.
From the moment we walked through the doors, we were all energized by our “unofficial, official” welcome to Detroit by local water activist Monica Lewis-Patrick."
Creating a Theory of Change: L'Arche Chicago
is a non-profit organization in Oak Park, IL that provides high quality health, housing, and social services to people with with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). L’Arche Chicago’s unique model of care differs from other community-integrated living arrangements (CILA), in that staff, known as assistants, and residents, known as core members, live together in homes, and develop mutually-transforming relationships through shared life experiences. Sponsored by the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Social IMPACT Research Center (IMPACT) collaborated with L'Arche Chicago to develop a theory of change. Over the past few months, Research Fellow David Li met with key stakeholders, including core members, assistants, administration, and board members, to identify long- and short-term outcomes. From this, IMPACT identified four long-term outcomes, paired with twelve short-term outcomes with pathways to L'Arche Chicago's mission: to create a more inclusive society.
Data Collection with Heartland Alliance Health
This month, IMPACT began baseline data collection for the evaluation of Heartland Alliance Health’s (HAH) innovative Health Neighborhood project! HAH launched the Health Neighborhood (HN) demonstration project in 2016 to leverage the efforts of health and permanent supportive housing (PSH) providers to improve population health outcomes and experiences, and strengthen partnerships between HAH and PSH providers. HAH partnered with IMPACT in order to evaluate the HN program both for quality improvement purposes and to investigate effectiveness and scalability. This study will examine the population health outcomes related to effective health promotion management, the activation of the HN members over time, and the pathways by which the HN creates outcome change. The study will also explore organizational changes in the level of integration of physical and behavioral healthcare. Currently, the HN has four active partnerships with Deborah’s Place, North Side Housing and Supportive Services, HOW, and Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS), and new partnerships are on the way.
Due to strong existing partnerships with the PSH providers, and the support of social work graduate students within IMPACT and the PSH partners, data collection is now in full swing at Deborah’s Place and North Side Housing and Supportive Services. We hope to have initial baseline survey results by December and final evaluation results by early summer, 2019. Look out for further updates as the evaluation progresses!
Heartland Alliance’s Research & Policy Division will be relocating to 208 S LaSalle Street Chicago, Illinois where we will join our colleagues from Heartland Alliance programs, such as Heartland Alliance International, Heartland Alliance Housing, and others, under one roof. At the end of November, our new address will be 208 S LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60604.
We are very excited to be joining our colleagues and to hosting our wonderful clients and partners in this new space.