Like all of the CRRI sites, collaboration among community partners was a central aspect of Lorain's PRIDE. The major partners collaborating on this project included the Mayor's Office, the ADAS Board, the Lorain County substance use agency (LACADA), the mental health provider (NORD), as well as the public school system, the local Urban League, the FQHC, and the community college. The local hospital and local employment office were also brought onto the team after the project was funded.
Most of these partners had worked together on other projects and came together to submit the grant. CRRI offered them new ways of working together. For example, screening and outreach offered the partners a new opportunity to collaborate. Agencies worked directly with PRIDE staff during the screening phase, and as they took increased interest in the project, many provided a venue and, in some cases, their own staff to expand screening. The Career Office, for example, provided office space for a PRIDE person on a regular basis and also made referrals for individuals to receive screening. The community college and FQHC also provided space in which screenings were conducted.
The public health nurses were funded by PRIDE to conduct outreach and follow-up and provided a unique public health perspective in the Lorain program. The nurses had been brought back from a layoff and thus were strongly committed to the goals and objectives of the program. Loss of project funding, however, put these individuals' jobs back in jeopardy.
The JOBS program was the only new service initiated by the PRIDE program and implemented by the PRIDE director out of the ADAS Board offices. It was the principal service that introduced clients to the PRIDE program and ultimately linked participants to other community agencies. For example, JOBS clients were given computer access by both Goodwill and Community Action. The Urban League also became a late addition partner and participated in the Year 2 JOBS training. At the time of the Year 3 site visit, the Urban League had conducted a JOBS session and had a staff person assigned to continue the employment services once the grant was officially over.
Finally, and importantly, the PRIDE project director successfully engaged the African American and faith-based communities in the screening, outreach, and employment portions of the program. A large inner city church whose pastor was a member of the ADAS board became an active PRIDE partner and supported the program's efforts by providing the skills of a cadre of volunteers. This collaboration created a strong employment training aspect to the project and also was the link that brought the Urban League into the program. Outreach into the faith community allowed the project to reach the African American and Hispanic communities. El Centro, the Hispanic service agency in Lorain, became an active partner in the first year of the program and developed their own branding for PRIDE in the community.