Welcome to Thriving
Cultivating leadership and healthier lives through collective impact
Women and Girls Thriving in Brookline (Thriving, for short) draws on the strengths of the whole community to increase opportunities for learning, leadership development, and community for women and girls living on limited incomes. A program of The Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, Thriving brings together 50 organizations and over 160 citizens, including more than 80 women and girls with limited incomes, by using what is known as a “Collective Impact” framework, an approach that is both inclusive and collaborative. Through this powerful model, women and girls work with others in the community to continuously identify needs and assets and to create helpful products and activities together.
Responding to Community Need
As of the Brookline Community Foundation’s 2012 “Understanding Brookline” report, nearly 16% of Brookline girls and women (more than 5,000 females) lived in poverty, and over 20% of Brookline’s female single parent families with children lived at or below poverty level. Thriving undertook a 2014 comprehensive community needs assessment to identify more specifically the multiple needs of Brookline’s low-income women and girls. Critical needs include ways to: access community services, improve health through food and lifestyles, reduce social isolation, address mental and physical health issues, access and use technology, develop employment skills, and gain the confidence to move forward in their lives.
What Thriving offers
In response to these needs, Thriving offers a variety of multi-week workshop series and opportunities for financially-challenged Brookline women on topics including resiliency-building, healthy eating, video production and storytelling, physical fitness, self-expression through art and writing, and more. Its participants and volunteers farm a community garden and come together for frequent “Listening and Learning Dinners.” The Thriving event calendar features upcoming activities.
Thriving’s signature publication is The Brookline Thrive Guide, an easy-to-use, comprehensive list of local organizations and resources available to both service providers and Brookline residents who wish to find the right organization to help them with their needs. The program also provides Brookline safety resource and domestic violence prevention and resource posters for community agencies, schools, and businesses, available in a variety of formats by email request.
2011: First “Surviving and Thriving” Workshop Series, the signature program which continues to this day.
2014: Community Needs and Assets Assessment Thirty organizations and over 100 people met through focus groups and interviews. Through their insights, Thriving identified 12 major areas of need for financially-challenged women and girls in Brookline, including: loneliness and isolation, depression and anxiety, health issues, food insecurity, unemployment and need for technology skills, domestic abuse, and information about community resources.
2014-15: Community Summits Five gatherings over two years brought together interested citizens, service providers, town agencies, and financially-challenged women to discuss identified needs, share ideas, and begin to organize and work together in focused community Working Groups.
2015-present Thriving Working Groups, each focused on an identified area of need. Thriving’s Working Groups, with support from a centralized Leadership Team, meet monthly to discuss evolving issues and opportunities and to plan and launch an array of “quick win” projects and products.
Thriving in the News
Wicked Local Brookline
September 13, 2017
Wicked Local Brookline
June 8, 2017