Familylinks is an organization providing integrated, family-centered services focused on behavioral, social and developmental health issues throughout Southwestern PA. They work hard to connect struggling families and individuals with the specific resources and help they need to flourish. ELDI has recently partnered with Familylinks to extend their services to even more people who can benefit from the work they do.
We sat down with Ted Melnyk, ELDI’s Director of Family, Community & Social Equity and leader of this initiative, to discuss what this partnership means for the community.
How did the partnership between Familylinks and ELDI originate?
The partnership began at the suggestion of Pittsburgh Foundation Program Officer Dr. Michael Yonas. Michael became intrigued with the Circles methodology for helping people move out of poverty, however, over the past two years our staff has realized that the serious commitment of the Circles Program was too much for many folks to jump right into. Our first two classes had over 50% dropout rate. To make a long story short, we are partnering with Familylinks to create a “pre-Circles” program focused on Section-8 or Public Housing tenants. For the first year our goal is to connect with 15-20 families in the East Liberty area.
What do you find promising about this collaboration?
What is promising is combining the Case Management skills, experience, and resources of Familylinks, with the experience and reach of East Liberty Development properties and property managers in the neighborhood.
ELDI staff and board are committed to the vision, birthed by the community in the late 90s, of a mixed income community. We feel like we’ve physically built a mixed-income community where one third our neighborhood is permanent, affordable housing while new neighbors continue to join the community through market-rate developments, but we want more than just a physical mix. How can people across races and socio-economics get to know each other? How can long time residents flourish and remain in our changing neighborhood? We feel strongly that the Circles program can help accomplish this vision of a truly mixed-income community.
“What is promising is combining the Case Management skills, experience, and resources of Family Links, with the experience and reach of East Liberty Development properties and property managers in the neighborhood.”
Look out for the next issue of The Bulletin for more about this exciting partnership.