Walking with Families and Communities, 2-Generations at a Time

“I thank you for being here and having the opportunity to help me pass my grades and help me focus and stay out of trouble…  You taught me well and love everyone around me and I’m so glad that you (are) my Agape connector. Tell the other Agape connectors that I’m glad that they all have the opportunity to help all the kids. I’m so glad you help my mom out when she didn’t have it. And next I promise to help others and teach them what agape is all about..I promise to focus and stay out of trouble and have a great Christmas break.”

7th grader, Westside Middle, Frayser Neighborhood (response when asked “What Agape means to you”), shared by Agape Stars Connector

For over 40 years, Agape Child and Family Services has worked to strengthen families by creating a healthy home environment. Agape recognized a need for innovative, effective intervention and support services to reach distressed populations where it was difficult for people to connect with available resources. They wanted to live their mission more deeply and sought a transformative approach to true, sustained change in the community.

To address this need, Agape called on Consilience Group to help launch the Powerlines Community Network (PCN) in 2009. PCN is a place-based strategy that connects high-risk, high need families to resources to foster empowerment, resiliency, and nurturing home environments where children can thrive, by boosting academic and life success. Through Consilience Group’s support, the board and staff were deeply engaged to make a long-term commitment to neighborhoods by taking a multi-generational approach to empower families to own their own determination and success. Together they discovered a new way of approaching the community, by going directly to high-need apartment complexes as well as community schools and practicing deep listening, to address the community’s stated needs. PCN has taken proactive steps toward weaving vital resources within the communities they are needed so that families and children can take steps to transform their lives and build a loving community Once PCN launched, Consilience Group has provided ongoing consultative support related to program design, data system development, quality improvement, and organizational infrastructure design. PCN is now a collaborative effort between 100+ organizations and is being regarded as a national 2-Gen model.