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Building Partnerships

By Chris Mendez, Alliance AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Community Mediation and Restorative Services

Chris has been getting things done for our communities all year by building partnerships and infrastructure around referral systems from schools to CMRS to help students and families experiencing housing crises to reduce poverty. Chris told us about one particular project that occurred in February that stood out:

“I attended a presentation to one of the biggest non-profit landlords in the Twin Cities Metro area. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce mediation to ‘front line’ personnel (e.g., Site Managers and Resident Resource Coordinators) and elaborate on how it can be used to facilitate the prevention or mitigation of eviction of their tenants, ultimately supporting the lives of young people and their families whose education and lives are impacted by housing turmoil. Immediately after this meeting, I checked my email and discovered that one of the Resident Resource Coordinators had followed up immediately with an astonishing total of 16 new connections from this one meeting. My supervisor assisted me in developing a strategic approach to following up with these connections. This is an example of how my AmeriCorps VISTA service has increased the capacity of Community Mediation and Restorative Services to build additional partnerships in this important work impacting youth and families.”

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