We want to share the story of Santa Cruz’s Human Services Department (HSD) outcomes contracting transformation, in which they moved through the steps we outlined in the first and second blog series. By the end of their two-year engagement with Third Sector that focused on improving their TANF Welfare to Work (WTW) subsidized employment programming, Santa Cruz HSD had built a more collaborative relationship with their two providers and had developed new outcomes and metrics to regularly review and work towards.
What does a low-income community look like? What systems and programs, while often well-intentioned, serve as the foot of oppression for keeping this neighborhood economically poor?
After conducting this power analysis as part of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s Undoing Racism Workshop, hosted by Living Cities, there was no denying the immense privilege and power Third Sector has to influence systems and their outcomes for low-income communities and communities of color. This was a wake-up call for us. It helped us to understand the role we potentially play in perpetuating systemic inequities
Coaching has become an increasingly popular method of intervention and has proven effective in a variety of settings. Economic Mobility Pathways (“EMPath”), for example, has codified a mentorship model that uses holistic goal-setting and individualized coaching to support people’s journeys out of the cycle of poverty. I first encountered the EMPath model during Third Sector’s work with the Department of Transitional Assistance on the Young Parents Program. There, we used EMPath’s Bridge to Self-Sufficiency (the “Bridge”) as a way to define and measure progress in a more nuanced way than