In 2009 The John R. Oishei Foundation created the Mobile Safety Net Team as an extension of their Basic Human Needs funding and in response to the economic downturn of 2008. In the first 2 years the MSNT was tasked with assessing needs and connecting residents to services. An inventory of 1000 agencies was collected over 45 communities and over 1000 people were connected to critical human services. While this work proved important, it only scratched the surface as the team began to recognize that there were larger, systemic issues that needed attention, such as housing, workforce development and transportation.
The Foundation extended funding to our team in 2012 and contracted with the University at Buffalo’s Regional Institute in order to create a comprehensive assessment of 12 communities. These reports built off of our previous work and added an analysis of service gaps and recommendations for the future.
Currently the Mobile Safety-Net Team collaborates with these 12 communities to put the results of these reports to work. Looking at report recommendations and beyond, community coalitions were formed as a way to put action behind the reports. Each community coalition works with an MSNT staff person to develop and implement a collaborative approach to change. For more information about what we do please see Our Work.