What is 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. More >>
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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That report is now out of date and consequently as part of United Way’s strategic planning process, the board approved a plan to conduct a new and more comprehensive study.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 shape.

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:

  1. GCI is a collaborative effort. Numerous groups from around the county are joining together to make a lasting change to community conditions.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 citizensimpact@hotmail.com.

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