Phase 4: Identify Local Community Partnerships to support Oasis Programming
One of the key pillars of the Oasis program is bringing community organizations and services to a shared space within the community. Therefore, it was important to engage community partners early on in the expansion process. Community partners were identified in a number of ways; many partners working with the original Oasis building were invited, as were those located in close proximity to some of the new sites. Additionally, we had already begun engaging residents at some of the new sites and included some of the community partners they had mentioned regarding programs and activities they were interested in. These consultations were held in each city that Oasis was expanding to, but in this section we describe the process specific to the Kingston consultation.
Contact Local Community Partners
We invited fourteen local community organizations to a consultation lunch and presentation held in Kingston in November 2018. These organizations included the Kingston YMCA, Kingston Alzheimer’s Society, Kingston VON, Providence Care, and Kingston Seniors’ Association, among others. Representatives from each organization were sent an invitation (see Appendix 4a) to invite them to learn about the Oasis program and brainstorm ways their organizations could be involved. These invitations were well-received; many organizations were happy to support older adults in the community and expand their current reach.
Host Community Partner Consultations
The agenda of the initial community partner consultation can be found in Appendix 4b. The purpose of this initial meeting was to describe the Oasis program in detail and to explore possible opportunities for collaboration and resource-sharing between community organizations in Kingston. The presentation given by our research team can be found in Appendix 4c. The structure of the meeting was conversational, rather than a formal presentation. Because of the existence of Oasis at Bowling Green II, many organizations were already familiar with the program; however, the evaluation and expansion of Oasis was described and then we opened the floor to the organizations to explore ways they would like to connect with the program. Organizations like Canadian Hearing Services and Alzheimer’s Society were able to offer resources and knowledge through information sessions and presentations should Oasis members be interested in learning about these topics.
We recommend hosting a community partner consultation early on in the development of an Oasis in order to develop a local network. Think of community supports that would benefit or interest members, in fact, it might be best to seek guidance from Oasis members as to who should be invited, and have them present at any meetings that take place. This initial consultation could be held in a public meeting area or even onsite at the building. Include Oasis members in a discussion of who should be invited; there will likely be a diverse group of individuals from the community, which will foster interesting discussion. This meeting does not have to be formal and could be structured more as an interactive brainstorming as to how the community could best get involved and support Oasis.
Phase 4 Key Take-Aways:
Host a community consultation early on in the process of developing Oasis;
Work closely with Oasis members to compile an invitation list
Clearly explain Oasis and the purpose of the consultation in your invitation
Engage community organizations in brainstorming ways they may be able to support Oasis programming or integrate services