THE DIVERSITY VILLAGE CASE
Diversity Village is a community in transition, a working-class and poor community which is being buffeted by gentrification and the impact of welfare reform on its residents.
It is bordered on the east by green space and park, on the west by an expressway, and on the north by a major commercial/retail street that is the boundary between Diversity Village and an extremely deteriorated neighborhood known as Elmswood Park. There is a large university campus with a teaching hospital to the south.
Diversity Village’s housing stock is varied, but it is composed primarily of four family and other row houses, some pre-WWII apartment buildings, and several high-rise buildings with many Section VIII tenants. Students, faculty, and staff of the university are increasingly moving into the community putting some upward pressure on the cost of housing.
Diversity Village is a highly diverse community with respect to class, income, and ethnicity. 40% of the adults have established workers, with many two and three-income families. About 12% of community members are working at the university or are university students. 20% are retired on social security and/or pensions. 28% of the adults are/have been on welfare or SSI. Among this group, most have been enrolled by the city in the WEP program, and are moving into low-wage jobs outside the community. 40% of the residents are children under 18. As many of the adults are working, there are numerous children in need of supervision.
Approximately 40% of the inhabitants are African Americans and/or African immigrants. About a quarter are European Whites, including a large Russian community, and an increasing number of Irish and Italian Americans. Nearly a third are Hispanics of a variety of ethnic groups and the remaining people are South Asian immigrants.
The community is served by a municipal hospital and a university-affiliated teaching hospital. The high school and middle school serve both Diversity Village and Elmswood Park. There is a senior center and quite a few faith-based counseling agencies having branches that serve the community. There are also several agency operated and supported scatter site housing programs for the mentally ill men and women in the neighborhood. Additionally, a group home for the developmentally delayed has opened recently.
Three recent events – a serious sexual assault on a lesbian university student, the injury of a child at the hands of a babysitter, and a murder-suicide in an immigrant family – have shaken the sense of security of the neighborhood. The precinct has reported an increase in gang-related activities, “child alone” calls, as well as domestic dispute calls.
Community leaders have decided to partner with a progressive foundation that is seeking innovative programs geared towards improving family life and building community. The foundation has agreed to fund a new agency to serve unmet community needs.
For your exam:
Articulate a mission and vision for a new agency you would create. Give your agency a name. (6)
List and provide comprehensive details of the services which will be offered by the agency. (6)
Develop a simple Expense and Income budget showing personnel and other-than-personnel expenses, as well as sources of funding. Give reasons for why you selected the number and types of particular funding sources. (6)
What leadership roles, styles, and competencies would you emphasize in this process of establishing a new agency? (6)
Based on what you have learned about managing a social agency this semester, anticipate the challenges this agency will face with (a) the diverse elements of the community, and (b) other existing community agencies in the delivery of services. (6)
THE DIVERSITY VILLAGE CASE