Since 2012, CommonHealth ACTION has been using a Collective Impact approach to build a community collaborative in Biloxi, MS. The newly formed East Biloxi Community Collaborative (EBCC) is housed in the Coastal Office of the Mississippi Center for Justice and is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Collaborative is made up of approximately 30 Community Organizations and Advocates who provide or promote social services in East Biloxi which is defined as everything on the Biloxi Peninsula east of White Avenue, or the Keesler AFB Main Gate.
EBCC works around five focus areas which are divided into Committees: Civic Engagement, Economic Security, Education, Health, and Neighborhood Viability. Each Committee is governed by very specific and agreed upon goals and objectives, but the over-arching mission of the EBCC is to create a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable East Biloxi with improved outcomes for children and families by working together to develop a place where families can live, work, play, and thrive.
One of the foundational beliefs of the EBCC is that there is an inherent value in partnerships and working collectively. Partnerships are definitely the lifeblood of EBCC. No one person can do everything and no one facility can meet all the needs of the community. Working collectively can expedite service delivery and also means that the services provided can be more diverse.
The most gratifying result of the work that the EBCC is doing is the tremendous outpouring of support and participation from East Biloxi residents, as Program Director Carmelita Scott explains, “the people who are participating are truly our greatest success. We have residents who come to a community meeting and ask when our next will be.”
East Biloxi Community Collaborative
W.K. Kellogg Foundation: 01/2012