The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham has selected three teams for its innovative Collaboration Institute 3.0, a bold project to address economic inequality in our region.

These collaborative teams are comprised of multi-sector partners—community colleges, nonprofit agencies, government leaders, childcare centers, and faith groups—joining forces to support women and their children in the difficult move beyond poverty.

The selected teams are:

Northeastern Hub (Jefferson County): New Rising Star Community Support Corporation, East Lake Initiative, and Hope Inspired Ministries

Project Vision 2.0 (Walker County): Bevill State Community College, Jasper Area Family Services Center, Inc., and Walker County Board of Education

Shelby County Women United (Shelby County): University of Montevallo, Jefferson State Community College, Shelby County Community Services, and the City of Montevallo

This week, Collaboration Institute teams will begin working with the Aspen Institute’s Community Strategies Group, a national leader in equipping communities to build more prosperous regions and advance those living on the economic margins. Collaboration Institute’s 15-month month curriculum is designed to more effectively align our region’s social services and workforce initiatives to better respond to the needs to vulnerable families and to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty for single mothers and their families, the group most likely to experience poverty.

Each of these three teams will receive $100,000, along with major support, including coaching, peer learning workshops, technical assistance, and travel to communities successfully implementing this model. The goal is creation of three one-stop 2Gen (two generation) hubs by December 2018. Women and their children will be able to access education and job skills training, quality child care, career coaches, and support services to achieve economic security—all in one location. These hubs are a permanent expansion of the successful work The Women’s Fund has already been doing through its two-generation collaborative initiatives.

Leaders in Shelby County realized the need to unify services as soon as they began meeting to prepare a Collaboration Institute proposal. “What evolved from those meetings was a shared recognition of how much Shelby County needs a 2Gen Hub,” says Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost. “We are thrilled to be part of this unique opportunity to end generational poverty in our community.”

“It’s a win-win for employers and the women of Alabama,” says Jeanne Jackson, President and CEO of The Women’s Fund. “For a single mom, going back to school and piecing together child care, housing and transportation is an overwhelming task. But what if the services you needed to move ahead were all in one place? You could make a real change for yourself and your kids.”

Team selections were made by a committee of community stakeholders and funders, including representatives of: Alabama Power Foundation, The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, The Daniel Foundation, Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation, Regions, United Way of Central Alabama, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Wells Fargo, and the board of The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham.

Click here to learn more about the 2Gen Family Hubs and Collaboration Institute.


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