Community Resilience and Recovery Initiative: Final Evaluation Report. Sustainability


During the final Westat site visit, Project ASSIST staff indicated that the Fall River program had been successful in building a collaborative network that will remain as an important community resource. Ongoing work with the Department of Health, Council on Aging and various youth services groups will be maintained going forward. Additionally, through the screening and outreach activities, new partnerships were developed, such as with the one-stop career center. As the community recovers from the Great Recession, and when difficult economic times occur in the future, this network of partners will be instrumental in helping individuals locate employment-related services as well as behavioral health resources. Interviewees attributed much of this success to having the right team of people implementing the project and participating as partners.

Other aspects of the CRRI grant that will have long-range impact and that interviewees believed to be sustainable include:

  • Staff awareness of the importance of the Job Club and the collaborations with the career center were both powerful results of this grant. SSTAR will continue links with the job-seeking resources, sharing brochures and using the job support group on site as a valued resource.

  • Renewed awareness of the importance of preventive care was identified by the steering committee as a valuable result of this grant. The entire service delivery system will need to identify a way to create a permanent preventive care approach. The project staff are aware that prevention is cost-effective, especially with respect to costs for diabetes, obesity, and depression. In addition, earlier intervention can help reduce the development of chronic, and therefore expensive, psychiatric and substance use problems.

  • Political ties that were part of the configuration of the CRRI grant will support sustainability of various aspects of the program. For example, the project's linkage with the Mayor's Office was seen as profoundly important. State Representative Paul has requested a summary of the program to present to the Legislative Delegation and will advocate at the state level for funding for additional support for community-based prevention programs. Such programs will provide high value to the community at minimal cost.

  • Continuing some of the project programs will be limited to available financial resources. Project staff were able to identify some insurance carriers that will reimburse for screening activities. Providing additional training for professional staff in some of the newer programs will be dependent upon funding resources.

  • Case management as a model will not be continued due to lost funding for positions. Even though this model was perceived as an innovation for the agency, there is not adequate financial support to continue with it.

  • Screening through SSTAR staff will not be able to continue as the former Project ASSIST staff have taken different positions. However, at the time of the Year 3 site visit, the project was trying to encourage the hospital to pick up the costs of continued weekend screening.

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