The Alliance began through the foresight and generosity of The Lake County Community Foundation. The Foundation convened a group of Lake County nonprofits in a series of dialogues between 2008-2010, making significant capacity building investments through grant making, creating the REACH program and providing technical assistance workshops. This culminated with a request from the nonprofit leaders that The Foundation actively seek ways to engage the nonprofit sector in creating systemic change. The Lake County Community Foundation launched the Leadership Task Force.
To support the Leadership Task Force (a select group of agency leaders and CEOs), The Lake County Community Foundation worked with the Donors Forum, Executive Service Corps of Chicago and the Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University to develop a year- long initiative. Read more about The-Lake-County-Community-Foundation-Role.
2 Key Issues Surface
At the onset, the Leadership Task Force quickly identified two key issues affecting their organizations and the human services sector.
- The agencies had many shared clients, but didn’t know enough about each other and shared clients to efficiently coordinate care.
- Predictable income was becoming increasingly difficult, creating a strong need for sustainable funding.
The Alliance for Human Services in Lake County
After several years of work together and one year of in depth research, the members of the Leadership Task Force came to realize that a new entity was needed to address the key issues. The members reviewed many collaborative models, studied research that elucidated the human services needs of Lake County. They shared their own experiences, concerns and issues. By 2011, the Leadership Task Force had enough information to begin the work of formalizing an organization with its own mission, vision and structure. This Alliance will become a powerful and unified voice of organizations and individuals with a stake in human services or safety net health services in Lake County, Illinois.
In 2013, The Alliance for Human Services hired its first Chief Executive Officer John Shustitzky, Ph.D. and began pursuing formal 501c3 status. In April 2013, The Alliance elected its first Board of Directors.
The Alliance is making a difference.
- A shared data base has been chosen and eight members have begun its implementation.
- It serves as the new “home” for the RESPOND Coalition.
- It has created a formal link with Illinois Partners for Human Services.
- It is gaining access to ensure the health and human services sector “has a seat at the table” in critical meetings throughout Lake County and beyond.
The Alliance seeks to be a true model for countywide collaboration amongst health and human service agencies. It is actively seeking new members. Ultimately, it seeks to ensure that all Lake County health and human service agencies have the resources and capacities to effectively meet the needs of the county’s diverse communities.