Families in Lincoln’s high-poverty neighborhoods face tough times right now, but they don’t only need resources – they need social connection.
“We see our strength as the ability to build community and offer concentrated outreach,” said Nancy Petitto, program manager for Collective Impact Lincoln, a collaborative program between Civic Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed and the South of Downtown Community Development Organization.
The group focuses on raising quality of life in six core neighborhoods: University Place, Hartley, Clinton, Belmont, Everett and Near South.
Support from the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund gives Collective Impact Lincoln the capacity to continue serving as a major connector between residents living in these neighborhoods – and needed resources, Petitto said.
“We understand the landscape of these neighborhoods, and we can serve as that first touch to figure out what people need, then help them navigate the system to help meet those needs,” she said.
Support takes many forms, she added: Access to food and rent, advocating for an eviction moratorium, meeting health care and mental health needs, adapting Community Builder workshops to a virtual setting, and more.
“Lincoln has this unique understanding that we’re all in this together,” Petitto said. “It's an understanding that we are stronger when we work together.”