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JAMS Foundation/ NAFCM Learning Community Members Class of 2020 Homelessness Prevention

Tuesday, October 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Frankie Barrett
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JAMS Foundation/ NAFCM Learning Community Members Class of 2020

Homelessness Prevention


Center for Conflict Resolution, Chicago, Illinois The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) has provided free mediation services to Cook County residents for 39 years. Each year, CCR serves 5,000 clients and handles more than 1,500 cases involving juveniles, neighbors, families, community organizations and businesses. Over the past 8 years alone, CCR has worked in partnership with the court and other community organizations to develop a mediation program for mortgage foreclosure, to expand services to low-income families needing mediation services in divorce cases involving financial issues, and to develop an innovative mediation program for court-involved youth and their families. Each of these programs are sustainable over the long term thanks to CCR volunteers, the financial support of their Board and Auxiliary Board, local funders and revenue generated through CCR’s training services. The project will focus on: Public/ Section 8 Housing and eviction proceedings in a suburban environment. They propose an expansion of an existing practice and strengthening engagement with community leaders. Their mission is to shift the culture of eviction within their county, expand services to a wider geographic location and to increase the dissemination of information about related resources.  CCR wants to teach people facing evictions how to expand their options for negotiating a stay, leaving with dignity or other options. This expansion will be focused on the areas of Skokie and Rolling Meadows which CCR does not currently work in.


Community Mediation D.C. In late 2016, a passionate group of trained mediators and community activists gathered together because they recognized a need in Washington D.C.  They understood that conflict is an inevitable part of life, and believed their community needed more tools for resolving their own conflicts.  After months of community listening sessions and outreach, Community Mediation DC (CMDC) incorporated in July 2017. CMDC provides free mediation services, conflict management workshops, large group facilitations, and mediation trainings for DC residents. They envision a DC in which mediation is used to build strong and peaceful communities, and every DC resident has access to high-quality, collaborative, conflict resolution services. CMDC is largely volunteer-run with limited paid staff hours to do intake for mediation cases, coordinate partnerships for new initiatives, conduct outreach, and lead fundraising efforts.   As of June 2018, they have 19 committed volunteer mediators and twice as many outreach volunteers and community partners. The project will focus on: Public /Section 8 Housing in an urban environment. They propose developing an emerging practice and strengthening engagement with community leaders.  They are a stand-alone community mediation center. They hope to focus on creating an emerging public-housing focused mediation program. Program services would include skill building for community members, specifically residents facing homelessness as well as mediation and large group facilitation. They have held listening sessions and have already identified and have supporting letters of partnerships from community stakeholders.


Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc., Murphysboro, Illinois Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc. (DRI) is a nonprofit with a mission to help people in conflict find common ground, resolves disputes, and reach agreement. DRI’s vision is a world where mediation and other forms of dispute resolution are the first choice for people in conflict. Their organization, established in 2009, serves communities throughout the state of Illinois through several mediation programs.  For example, they administer the Illinois Agricultural Mediation Program, which is a statewide federal agricultural mediation program. They also administer several court-based mediations programs.  This submission encompasses the First Judicial Circuit which serves “the lower nine counties” of southern Illinois.  The project will focus on: Eviction Proceedings in a regional environment throughout the southern nine counties of Illinois. They propose an expansion of an existing practice.  They are a stand-alone community mediation center.  The focus of this proposal is mediating landlord/tenant issues. This is thorough, well-written proposal and each section is very organized to hit all the key points. There is little doubt the organization has the capacity to exercise the proposed program.


Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board, Ontario, California Since 1980, IFHMB has provided education, information, and mediation to the people of San Bernardino County. As stated in their mission statement, “we claim our existence and heritage as part of our nation’s mandate to ‘promote the general welfare’ of our people….” For nearly forty years, IFHMB has been involved in homeless diversion by educating tenants and offering mediation prior to, and at, the eviction stage, as well as assisting the recently rehoused by providing education and mediation to help people stay housed. As Matthew Desmond wrote in his 2016 work Evicted, “Eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty,” and they see it as part of their mission to prevent eviction, and thereby, homelessness, to ‘promote the general welfare’ of their people. The project will focus on working with the Housing and/or Homeless Coalition as well as Eviction Proceedings throughout the county which includes urban, suburban and rural environments. They propose an expansion of an existing practice and strengthening engagement with community leaders.  They are a stand-alone community mediation center.  The organization plans to offer “good tenant” training to landlords and tenants as an upstream conflict resolution measure, built on the idea that, when people know their rights and responsibilities, they tend to try to uphold them.


Yolo Conflict Resolution Center, Woodland California The Yolo Conflict Resolution Center (YCRC) is a nonprofit, affordable, community-based organization serving Yolo County, California. With an overall view toward building genuine community, YCRC envisions a future in which individuals and communities see conflict as an opportunity for growth and transformation. The Center is committed to helping community members access and develop their inherent capacity for constructive dialogue and to equip and guide them in effectively resolving conflicts using creative, peaceful, and respectful means. YCRC believes that when people are given opportunities for constructive conversation, and a chance to build skills to better restore vulnerable relationships, this can ultimately lead to positive systemic change.  The project will focus on: Public/Section 8 Housing and eviction proceedings, serving a county that is a mix of urban, suburban and rural characteristics. They propose an expansion of an existing practice and strengthening engagement with community leaders.  The application is to offer mediation services to the courts, landlords, property managers (private and public), residents and neighbors to better address the many communities’ needs in an extraordinarily tight housing/rental market that does not offer many alternatives if a resident loses their residency, youth run away, or eviction happens. They want to work to prevent through early intervention the risk of homelessness and/or eviction.

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