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Troy L. Wheeler

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Strategy: Directories Of Services

Strategy Directories of services provided by local agencies help residents, other service providers, and police officers identify opportunities to . . .

Strategy

Directories of services provided by local agencies help residents, other service providers, and police officers identify opportunities to refer individuals and families to needed services.

Crime Problem Addressed

Residents of all kinds of neighborhoods will eventually require the services provided by a local government or community social, health, or employment service agency. Increased awareness of available services helps ensure that those in need will understand how to access those services.

Key Components

Service directories typically catalog services available from public and private sources in areas such as family support, counseling, religious congregations, employment training, health services, substance abuse treatment, and public schools. Distribution of the directory to residents and to service agencies helps reinforce coordinated referral to programs offering the support families and children need. Directories are commonly developed as a product of coalitions and interagency partnerships to assist neighborhoods.

Key Partnerships

Agencies should coordinate resources to develop, print, and distribute service resource directories. Neighborhood associations can identify agencies and providers that address the community's needs, for inclusion in the directory.

Potential Obstacles

Maintaining the directories and including updates can be a time-consuming process which a single agency may be reluctant to undertake. Neighborhood agencies can be asked to update the content as a trade-off for the local government department's commitment of resources to print and distribute it.

Signs of Success

Seattle's Youth Involvement Network represents the partnership of the community, city agencies, and youth. In addition to raising the community's awareness of issues facing Seattle youth, the Network developed the Youth Yellow Pages which lists youth-serving agencies. With the support of the public library and a local cable television company, the directory provides information on jobs, sports opportunities, legal assistance, and antiviolence programs.

Applying the Strategy

In Wichita, Kansas, the Neighborhood Initiative has pursued leadership training for residents, enhanced services for neighborhoods, and brought cooperation between public and private agencies in the two-county metropolitan area. The 1995 directory of services sponsored by the Initiative and printed with the cooperation of the local United Way includes hundreds of references to organizations that provide emergency family support, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, information on schools, health education resources, and job training centers. The directory is one vehicle for reinforcing the collaboration of local agencies on the Initiative.

From 350 Tested Strategies to Prevent Crime: A Resource for Municipal Agencies and Community Groups

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