When the grant started in 2010, SSTAR already had a long history of successful community partnerships. Nevertheless, the specific requirements of CRRI fostered new connections throughout the community that were essential to the success of the project. The linkage with Mayor William A. Flannigan's office, for example, provided specific guidance and resources to the effort along with entry to other government agencies and local and federal leaders. A project Steering Committee was convened by the Mayor, which resulted in new links with Bristol Community College and job services. Collaborations also were developed with other behavioral health and social service organizations, neighborhood associations, juvenile courts, local hospitals, and veterans' groups. In addition, the actual establishment of outreach and screening strategies and physically being present at various sites built new relationships with a wide range of agencies and created a more public face for the issues of behavioral health community-wide.
Such collaborative efforts on CRRI-specific tasks also altered and improved community members' perceptions of SSTAR as a comprehensive service provider. Prior to the grant, SSTAR reportedly was viewed primarily a substance use disorder service provider and detox agency. But through CRRI, the community-wide perception and understanding of SSTAR as a resource for substance use disorders, mental health, medical services, and employment services has broadened. In addition, because SSTAR screening and outreach staff worked on-site with staff from other organizations, these interactions provided opportunities to educate other agency staff on the relationship between mental health, substance use, and economic stress.