Having numerous agencies under one roof at the Community Campus at Goodwill is making a difference in how local nonprofits help clients.
Two years ago, the Goodwill building on Ninth Street SW was mostly a warehouse.
Today, it houses numerous nonprofit agencies, a centralized spot for area residents to get the help they need.
The objective, according to Ken Weber, president and chief executive officer for Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, was to provide a one-stop shop environment for human services while helping agencies to reduce administrative costs and increase capability.
And it’s working.
The Community Campus at Goodwill opened in late 2009 with a few agencies. Throughout 2010, it came to house nearly 20 agencies, occupying two floors. Will more occupy a third floor? Well, that’s in the works, too. Construction is set to begin in 2011.
DREAM COME TRUE
“It (joining the campus) will pay dividends in terms of referrals,” said Bob Phipps, director of development and public relations for Community Hospice of Stark County, the newest agency to join the campus.
“We deal not only with patients, but with families of patients with life-limiting illnesses. We provide care, both medically and supportive, for those in the last phase of their life.”
By being part of the campus atmosphere, he explained, his agency and the other organizations can more easily help when clients need a spectrum of assistance.
Community hospice moved into the campus facility in September. Phipps, who worked with the YMCA for 35 years, said that while there, he and other leaders of nonprofit agencies dreamed of the day when nonprofits could be centralized.
“We had hoped someday there would be a campus where a lot of agencies could be under one roof and people seeking services wouldn’t have to run all over town. It is nice to see that the current leadership in the community brought it around.”
‘EVERYTHING WE NEED’
Another new agency, the United Way’s 2-1-1 Information & Referral service, moved to the Goodwill campus in April.
“It has been an awesome experience for us,” said Sherri McKinney-Frantz, program director.
“Our main office is in the Belden Village area. That is a great place, but for this service of the United Way, this is where the people need us to be, where we can be the most useful for those who use the 2-1-1 program.”
Economically, the campus works, too.
Tenants pay $7.50 per square foot for their share of the cost of campus expenses, including, security, utilities, reception, maintenance and janitorial services. In addition, affiliates receive a phone system with voice-mail access, Internet access and information technology support. Campus partners have access to meeting rooms, office machines, marketing and bulk purchasing services.
Said, Sherry Sampson, director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency:
Page 2 of 2 - “This is an amazing facility, so much collaboration among the agencies. Everything we need is right here.”
Inside the Goodwill walls are a multitude of organizations. They are:
• Access Health Stark County
• Alzheimer’s Association
• Big Brothers Big Sisters
• Building Healthy Communities
• Coming Together Stark County
• Community Hospice of Stark County
• Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP)
• Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio
• Leave A Legacy Stark County
• Mayor’s Literacy Commission, Adult Literacy Classes
• Prescription Assistance Network of Stark County & Charitable Pharmacy
• Reentry Bridge Network and the RBN Center (Ohio Benefit Bank Site)
• Senior Employment Center
• Stark County Hunger Task Force & Emergency Food Pantry
• United Way’s 2-1-1 Information & Referral (Ohio Benefit Bank Site)