Stronger Together Alliance Projects
Drawing from the expertise of multiple community partners, the Stronger Together Alliance has taken on impactful, sustainable projects to respond to our community’s most pressing needs.
Past and ongoing initiatives include:
Community Access to Rides:
In 2015, the Stronger Together Alliance convened a team of local community organizations to identify and address our community’s most pressing needs. Through this collaboration, the alliance identified a lack of affordable and convenient transportation as a major barrier for low-income individuals.
With public buses operating only on weekdays and through 6 pm, there was a significant obstacle for people to access jobs, schools, medical care, resources, and the services they needed to be successful in work, school and life.
As a result, the Community Access to Rides (C.A.R.) Program was created and has provided thousands of free rides to individuals in need. Utilizing the Uber platform, the C.A.R. Program is entirely supported by donations and provides much needed stop-gap services to some of our area’s most vulnerable individuals, linking them to life-changing programs and services.
The CAR initiative includes the following community agencies: The Literacy Center, The ARC of Bristol County, Sturdy Health, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative, Attleboro Public Schools, Norton Human Services, and the Attleboro Norton YMCA.
The Community Connector is a three-year pilot that launched in March 2023 after two years of planning. The project was conceptualized in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic of spring 2020. During the crisis, leaders of area nonprofit organizations came together to raise over $500,000 in less than a month to assist struggling non-profit organizations in the delivery of their missions despite the global emergency. The organizations discovered that they were able to make more immediate, efficient, and impactful responses to the crisis by collaborating.
Based on the success of that collaboration, the Stronger Together Alliance (STA) recognized that opportunities exist for deeper collaboration and increased efficiencies across the nonprofit sector in the Greater Attleboro region. However, to enable this exceptional collaborative approach to problem-solving to continue, a formal, paid position would be necessary. As such, the Community Connections Coordinator position was born.
The Community Connections Coordinator aims to identify and deepen the connection between organizations and build capacity of the social sector. In March 2023, the STA filled this position The main objectives of this position include:
Support and encourage the collaboration of area social service agencies by staying current and knowledgeable about the services provided by and mission of each agency, and by reporting back synergies and potential partnerships to the agencies on a regular basis.
Identify Foundation/Governmental Grant funding opportunities that would benefit multiple agencies and serve as the lead for crafting grant proposals.
Serve as a technical coach and advisor to agency leadership as needed.
Interface with municipal leadership around advocacy and support.
Identify duplication of services and work to streamline services across agencies..
The Stronger Together Alliance provides collaborative supervision to the Community Connections Coordinator.
In 2017, the Stronger Together Alliance brought together local community organizations to create lasting solutions to pressing health concerns in the community. The STA identified youth obesity as a primary health concern in our community through data provided by the Attleboro Norton YMCA.
In response, the STA piloted the CHOOSE H20 Initiative in partnership with Attleboro Public Schools. The goal was to make water students’ preferred drink in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar being consumed regularly by young people.
By providing new water filling stations in the schools, educational sessions, and branded water bottles, the CHOOSE H20 initiative proved that access and education helped young people change their behaviors and make healthier choices.
COVID CRISIS COMMUNITY FUND
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the statewide shutdown in March 2020, it quickly became clear that local nonprofits would not be able to meet the emerging needs of our community members without a collaborative effort.
By early April 2020, the Stronger Together Alliance was able to form a partnership of 26 local nonprofits to create a special COVID crisis community fund. The goal of this fund was to help local nonprofits meet the community’s most immediate needs, including meal distribution, housing assistance, and financial assistance for medical and food expenses.
The Fund also helped nonprofits meet operational expenses to ensure they could survive through the crisis to continue to serve the community into the future.
In just over a month, the Fund raised more than $500,000 and immediately distributed those funds to the partner organizations, who in turn used the funds to help our neighbors in need.
From this initiative, the Community Connections Coordinator position was developed.
COVID VACCINE PROGRAM
In spring 2021, state and private health organizations began to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the general public. To bolster area efforts to distribute the vaccine, a subcommittee of the Stronger Together Alliance collaborated with the Massachusetts Health Council, the City of Attleboro, and Lyft to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals in need.
The subcommittee and collaborators offered transportation to and from vaccine clinics, and helped to promote opportunities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Attleboro City Health Department.
To further increase accessibility to the COVID-19 vaccine in the Attleboro area, the vaccine subcommittee partnered with Attleboro VFW Post 115 to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic during the hours of a weekly drive-through food pantry. With the City of Attleboro Health Department administering vaccines, other collaborators were able to provide meals from local food trucks and grocery store gift cards to the unhoused and underserved who received the vaccine. Many individuals returned for their second dose, also administered by the City of Attleboro Health Department at VFW Post 115.