Over the past two years, United Way of Berks County has been working with the Oakbrook community including organizing a Summer Reading Program in 2017 through partnerships with Berks Community Health Center, Customers Bank, Reading Housing Authority and Reading School District, and as a result connecting with over 140 children. In June 2017, a door-to-door survey was conducted to find out what Oakbrook residents share as their needs and concerns related to health, education, employment and other needs. UWBC had a 39% of participation from the 521 households in Oakbrook. These survey results were shared through a Data Walk called “Oakbrook Speaks” in October 2017.
What are the next steps? How do we try to address the needs identified through the survey of Oakbrook residents?
United Way of Berks County is assisting in organizing the Oakbrook Collective Impact Council. The goal of the Council is to prioritize the identified needs and coordinate collaborative efforts to respond to what Oakbrook residents identified as their critical issues. The Council began meeting in January 2018 and will meet quarterly. More than 50 people attended the first meeting representing various nonprofits, education partners, the corporate section, as well as Oakbrook residents. Using the Collective Impact model, community partners commit to work together to achieve the same goal and address complex social problems. This is a multi-year process, where the group looks to address the root cause of an issue and works to create cultural shifts.
Upcoming Council Meetings: