Fall 2021 Newsletter
The fall wind rustling the trees comes as a pleasant change to many of us after a summer in Cleveland. At City Fields, we’re feeling those winds bring new and fresh energy to the Blythe Oldfield neighborhood.
Just as seasons change, things are constantly changing all around us, and it’s important to stop and take it all in. Whether it’s welcoming a new family to the neighborhood, or having coffee with a long-time friend, taking in these moments is something we try to take seriously.
We look forward to a new season of meaningful changes, both big and small. Thank you for supporting us through all of it. Keep reading to see how you’ve impacted some beautiful changes in the neighborhood this fall.
¡Bienvenidos al Barrio! (Welcome to the Neighborhood!)
The Pimentel family closed on their very first home this month in Blythe Oldfield. This lovely family of five is ready to pack their things into new bedrooms and make their new house a home!
We’re so happy to welcome them to the neighborhood, and we know they’re excited to be first-time homeowners. Without City Fields, this family would not have been able to buy a house for a long time.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do this for 2 or 3 years now, so we’re so grateful for this opportunity. You’ve been so friendly with us throughout and made the process so easy.” – Ariluz Pimentel
Flourishing Neighborhood Index
Flourishing Neighborhood Index (FNI) survey is a big deal. It is an incredible tool, brought to us by Focused Community Strategies in Atlanta, GA, to help us measure neighborhood health. We use this survey bi-annually to make sure the work we do is resident-driven and not just initiatives that we think should happen.
Our mission is to cultivate overlooked places. We cannot do that well if we don’t listen to the people in those places. The FNI is one of the biggest ways we engage with the neighborhood and learn from those who live here. Residents get the chance to speak on a variety of topics that impact them every day.
The survey is divided into three categories: social health (sense of place/connection), structural health (security and education), and economic health (housing, employment, etc.). The data from the FNI will be entered into a program which will generate scores that help us understand the overall health of Blythe Oldfield
Thank you to Lee University students and resident neighbors for partnering with us on this project.
We are going door-to-door around the neighborhood to give everyone an opportunity to speak. Every household that completes a survey will receive a $10 Walmart gift card. Every neighbor that helps us conduct the survey, will receive $10 for every survey they help someone complete and also be paid hourly. This is a way for us to support our neighbors and communicate how valuable their opinion is to us.
Partners involved with CDL Training
Career Connection Reimagined
So far in 2021, we have served over 100 people through our job training program, employment services, and one-on-one services.
This year we have taken time to reflect and listen to our clients and community leaders. The heartbeat of what we do is to cultivate overlooked people. So we asked ourselves, which of our clients have been most overlooked? The people that have the hardest time getting a good paying job are those with criminal records, those with a past of addiction, and those without a high school diploma or equivalent. We want to specifically focus on these groups moving forward: justice-involved, recovery program participants, and GED students.
New Career Tracks
While the welding program has been highly successful, not everyone wants a career in welding. With new and old partnerships, we are adding three new career tracks next year that lead to jobs with a living wage. These will be offered alongside soft skills training. The welding track will continue to be offered as usual.
This program is specifically for justice-involved participants. Inmates at the Bradley County Justice Center will earn their CDL before they are released. This will reduce the re-entry rate by giving formerly incarcerated people a chance at stable employment. This program will be made possible by many partners including The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, The American Job Center (AJC), TriStar Trucking Co., Bradley County Adult Education, and others. We hope to eventually offer this career track to traditional students as well.
Students will have the opportunity to choose between phlebotomy or CNA training as a way into the healthcare field. Both of these tracks start at decent wages, and provide opportunities for advancement. These will be made possible by our partnership with Cleveland State Community College and the AJC. This is a great option for students co-enrolled in adult education programs.