What is Geauga Community Impact and why now?
In the mid 90’s United Way Services of Geauga County,
working in collaboration with the Family First Council and the
Department on Aging, secured a grant from the Cleveland Foundation
to assess health and human service needs in the county. The result
led to the issuance of a report entitled Geauga: Today & Tomorrow
that contains 40 different recommendations for action.
That report is now out of date and consequently as part of
United Way’s strategic planning process, the board approved
a plan to conduct a new and more comprehensive study. In discussing
the proposed project with several of the public agencies in the
county, it became apparent that several other organizations were
about to conduct their own surveys. It was quickly agreed that
working together would be more productive. The community would
be spared duplicative questionnaires and focus groups, the use
of public and private monies and human resources would be maximized,
and dollars and time invested in the project would be used in
the most efficient and effective manner.
Thus far, four Geauga County public agencies and one private
agency agreed to join forces. The Department on Aging, Family
First Council, Job and Family Services, Board of Mental Health
and Recovery Services, and United Way Services agreed to work
together and The Geauga Community Impact project began to take
It was further agreed that this new study should be more comprehensive
than previous efforts and that the process needed to include
broader representation from the community to identify and enable
more community based solutions for the health and human service
issues which surfaced.
The model chosen to carry out this project is one that has
been used successfully by hundreds of organizations across the
United States. Developed by United Way of America, it was chosen
because of its emphasis on community building as well as its
credibility and ease of use. We realize that it takes a broadly
based community approach to determine and implement workable
solutions. This model established the methodology to carry out
such a project successfully.
Frequntly Asked Questions
What is the Geauga Community Impact (GCI)?
GCI is a collaboration of community leaders from local businesses,
faith groups, law enforcement, health care, government, and neighborhoods
that have come together to plan for the future of Geauga County’s
Health and Human Service needs.
Wasn’t there a study like this completed already?
United Way completed the last study of health and human service
needs in 1996 and published a report titled, Geauga: Today and
Tomorrow in 1998. That study provided a good understanding of
the needs in the county, but it lacked collaborative efforts.
Once the study was completed, groups utilized the findings to
obtain resources to meet the needs of their particular population
and client base. For example, transportation was identified as
a need. Hence, many providers obtained funding to purchase or
lease vans to transport their clientele to and from services.
How is this project different from Geauga: Today and Tomorrow?
There are several major differences from Geauga: Today and Tomorrow:
- GCI is a collaborative effort. Numerous groups from around
the county are joining together to make a lasting change to
- Geauga County businesses, service providers, labor organizations
and associations have been asked to complete Asset Surveys
before the needs assessment began. This helped to identify
any resources that are available in the community before the
needs were identified.
- The project will not end after the needs are identified.
GCI will have held a Citizen’s Convention on May 14,
2005 to gather input and opinions from county residents on
the priority issues and a vision for health and human services
in Geauga County. Following that, the steering committee will
develop a plan to determine long-term solutions to the needs
identified as high priority.
- The ability to leverage and maximize resources to make the
greatest impact. Through collaborative efforts and the formation
of public and private partnerships, GCI will efficiently and
effectively address the needs of the county.
- GCI will develop goals and measure outcomes for each initiative
that is undertaken and report the results to the community.
Who is paying for this project?
GCI is partially funded through a grant received by the Lake-Geauga
Fund of the Cleveland Foundation. In addition to this funding,
several health and human service organizations have contributed
to this project. Those funders include: Geauga County Board of
Mental Health and Recovery Services, Geauga County Department
on Aging, Geauga County Job and Family Services, Geauga Family
First Council, and United Way Services of Geauga County.
Who is leading this effort?
Bill Conway, Chairman of the Board at Fairmount Minerals is
serving as the Chairman of the GCI. Dr. Ruth Zollinger is the
vice chair. Kimm Leininger, Executive Director of United Way
Services of Geauga County is the project director and Dr. Marlene
Stoiber is the project consultant.
Who can I call with questions?
Please call Kimm Leininger at (440) 285-8097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.