HISTORY: Community SPOKE is a nonprofit organization created in 2015 out of a partnership that evolved between the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance (LNA) and the Ottawa County Human Services Coordinating Council (OCHSCC). The OCHSCC is a 20+ year coordinating body made up mostly of county government agencies that focus primarily Health & Human Services (partners include the Department of Human Services. Public Health Department, Community Mental Health, MI Works, Sheriff’s Department, Senior Resources, etc…)
With both the OCHSCC and LNA looking to increase the level of collaboration in Ottawa County, the two entities formed a formal partnership in 2013 that included the hiring of a shared Executive Director. This partnership has led to stronger relationships between local nonprofits and county government agencies as well as produced new successful collaborative efforts.
While maintaining separate identify and efforts, the two partnering entities recognized the need to establish a name (and ultimately a new organization) to lead the large-scale collaborative efforts in the area of health & human services. The result was Community SPOKE. The Mission of Community SPOKE is to enhance the quality of life for all Ottawa County residents through a strategic, coordinated, and systemic response to human services needs.
Today, Community SPOKE is a neutral space where leadership from health & human services organizations utilize data to identify the greatest needs in our community, facilitate a collaborative process involving cross-sector input (business, government, nonprofit, etc…), and work towards collective solutions. The greatest value that Community SPOKE brings to the table is the ability to be a neutral facilitator of these processes. Collaborative projects are either self-identified or Community SPOKE is sought out to lead collaborative processes on behalf of others.
Two examples of collaborative projects facilitated initially by Community SPOKE include Ottawa Housing Next (collaborative to address affordable housing needs) and the Community Health Improvement Plan (collaborative to address greatest health needs in Ottawa County). Click on the following links to learn more about each:
The leadership of Community SPOKE is broken into two levels. The larger SPOKE membership is made up of all board members of the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance and the Ottawa County Human Services Coordinating Council. This body provides the strategic direction of the organization. The official governing body is a smaller board of directors made up of representatives of LNA/OCHSCC and consists of the following individuals:
- Keith VanBeek (County of Ottawa Administration)
- Jeanette Hoyer (Goodwill Industries of West Michigan)
- Patrick Moran (Greater Ottawa County United Way)
- Lisa Stefanovsky (Ottawa County Department of Public Health)
- Linda Jacobs (Good Samaritan Ministries)
Contact Us if you are interested in learning more about Community SPOKE.