2024 Evaluation of Community Facilitator Model

KEY STAFF: Laura Wells and Collin Flake

PROJECT: HOPE NC is piloting a Community Facilitator program in the North Street Neighborhood. HOPE NC contracted Partners for Impact to provide a developmental evaluation of this pilot project.  

SERVICES: Engaging Stakeholder Voices | Evaluation

PROBLEM/CHALLENGE:

HOPE NC was founded in 2018 by parents of adult children with autism and personal experience navigating the many challenges faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The organization’s mission is to create inclusive communities where people of all abilities and ages experience a sense of belonging. HOPE NC’s longer-term goals include building a new housing community with units reserved for people with I/DD and other units occupied by older adults and families. HOPE NC will coordinate partnerships with other organizations and service providers to promote support, engagement, and connection among residents. As HOPE NC develops this plan, they are exploring aspects of their inclusive community model. Partnering with the North Street Neighborhood provides an opportunity to pilot a Community Facilitator program and learn in real-time how best to utilize this resource in a community setting.

OUR PROCESS: Partners for Impact started this process by developing a theory of change and logic model based on interviews with the Executive Director and a few key stakeholders. We identified indicators and a data collection plan that started with interviews and focus groups with residents. We will also complete a short survey of more residents. The evaluation is structured as a developmental evaluation (that helps shape the program rather than just reporting on what was done), we would analyze the data from each of these and provide recommendations to guide programming and the facilitator’s work. In between the larger data collection efforts, the facilitator will collect additional statistics about participation in activities or other aspects of the programming.

DESCRIPTION: The North Street Neighborhood is an intentional community of residents with and without disabilities close to downtown Durham. The first family moved into this block of refurbished homes in 2012; the last home was completed in 2017. The neighborhood is a mix of owner-occupied and rental units, housing individuals and families in a variety of living arrangements. Reality Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit creating inclusive and supportive spaces for people with and without developmental disabilities, owns several buildings in the North Street neighborhood. Students from the Divinity School at Duke University live with people with I/DD in the Friendship House, while families and other individuals with and without I/DD live together in the Corner House and the Isaac House. Reality Ministries and the homes they own and operate in the neighborhood are clearly an integral component of the North Street Neighborhood, even as the relationship between Reality Ministries and North Street Neighborhood lacks a single definition among residents. The North Street Neighborhood comprises 14 privately-owned residential buildings and four properties owned by Reality Ministries.

 

The North Street Neighborhood is a location, a community, and a concept. Those associated with the neighborhood define its boundaries in a variety of ways. For that reason, this evaluation only loosely bounds the population being served. Generally, the North Street Neighborhood includes approximately 120 people, 25 of whom are individuals living with I/DD.