Annual Report 2011: Pierre Stroud

Annual Report 2011: Pierre Stroud




Pierre Big

Pierre Stroud
Program Manager
San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing –
Community Development Division  

San Francisco’s Western Addition: Creating a Stronger Multi-Organization Collaborative for Greater Community Impact

As Program Manager at the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing, Community Development Division, Pierre Stroud worked with CompassPoint’s Adriana Rocha and Byron Johnson to bring service providers together for community planning, capacity building, and, ultimately, greater community impact in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. Pierre says, “Because of the excellent facilitation provided by Adriana and Byron, the community providers were able to articulate a shared set of goals and priorities much more effectively than they have in the past.”

A primary goal of this project in the Western Addition was to connect organizations that serve the community in a stronger, more collaborative way, and to include previously unconnected organizations in the region, from the Fillmore community to the Japantown community to the Korean community. By bringing together organizations that serve children and families with those that provide services for other ages and populations, Pierre says, “CompassPoint helped us meet our goals. They facilitated our meetings and the process of reaching consensus on our priorities. They also helped us communicate between meetings, track progress, and identify and analyze data.”

Together, the organizations generated a set of shared priorities and presented them in a joint final report. “The project culminated with a meeting between the mayor, the District 5 supervisor and the group of service providers, where they talked about what they saw as shared priorities; the highest needs of the community, and in particular, what they wanted to see prioritized in terms of city resources and budget.”

According to Pierre, the power of the project was in the process leading up to this successful meeting. “Byron and Adriana brought facilitation and organization skills that helped us really formalize and document the process. As a result from each meeting and discussion, we walked away with a next steps document of what had been accomplished and who would work on what next. It’s easy to have a lot of meetings and start at the same place each time, but CompassPoint helped us avoid that and be a more effective collaborative.”

By creating an effective collaborative, the project changed the tone and manner in which service providers interact with each other and public leaders in Western Addition. In past years, Pierre describes, “These kinds of meetings tend[ed] to become a sort of lobbying free-for-all, where people argue that they need the money more than anyone else.” But this year, “the Western Addition providers were able to come to a consensus and say, ‘These are the areas of need for the community.’” The areas of need that the collaborative identified were education, workforce development, and family support. “We were also able to present specific topics of need within those areas, but these topics were not about individual agencies and who could do it best: these were the priorities identified by the collaborative. It was about community needs as opposed to individual organizations focusing on specific budget needs and trying to lobby for a bigger piece of the pie. It takes a lot of relationship building, trust, and communication to get to the point where people look beyond preserving their own funding levels and staff and really talk about community first. CompassPoint was able to help us get to that point. It is a very powerful example of how CompassPoint creates connections. They helped bring together community-based organizations and service providers to develop stronger relationships and a stronger shared vision.”