The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government’s Prosperity Package is an initiative of the Mayor & Commission to address poverty, social disparity, and wealth inequality in our community. Among other activities, it is utilizing FC-CIS Neighborhood Leaders who live and work in each of 16 Prosperity Zones to work with residents to achieve their aspirations, providing information, referral, navigation, case management, and community engagement. They will also help inform the Mayor & Commission and community partners about systemic barriers to prosperity.
The Neighborhood Leaders will primarily serve their zones, with flexibility as needed (for example, a Spanish-speaking Neighborhood Leader crossing zones, or expertise on a particular issue).
The most important qualifications for the role of Neighborhood Leader are knowledge of the community (including services), life experience and cultural background that connects with those with whom they’re working, interpersonal skills, and a heart for the work.
With an emphasis on removing barriers to economic self-sufficiency, Neighborhood Leaders will help residents access services and resources, including but not limited to education (basic adult education, ESL, GED, job training), employment opportunities, early care & learning including quality child care, support for the aging, SNAP and WIC, physical and behavioral health services, civic engagement (including Census participation, voter registration, voting, and engaging in public processes), and other. This will be done in two tiers.
- Tier 1 will include group outreach – information-sharing through presentations in neighborhoods and at community gatherings, tabling at community events, and other outreach.
- Tier 2 will be individual case management support, working with (not just for) individuals of all ages and families to develop an action plan to connect to needed services, helping them access the services as appropriate (including assistance in filling out application paperwork if needed), and follow up to ascertain the status of their individual plan, if they got the service(s), what if any outcomes resulted, and to offer further assistance.
Neighborhood Leaders will also engage residents in community-building. In addition to providing in-the-community expertise for the Prosperity Package Initiative, this includes responding to the Census, providing input into community planning (HCD and other Unified Government community planning, Athens Wellbeing Project, Envision Athens, Family Connection-CIS Strategic Action Teams, other), engaging in neighborhood and other community organizations, registering to vote, voting, and other civic activities.