April 16, 2019
By Mauricio Montealegre
Community Outreach Specialist, Public Allies AmeriCorps Member
In March, Catalyst Miami hosted two community visioning workshops, one in South Dade, “One South Dade”, and another in Miami Gardens, “Voices of the Gardens”. These workshops continue in the footsteps of the “The People Speak” event in Overtown held in December 2018.
These workshops help us gather resident-level information to better understand how to best serve each neighborhood in our expanded operations into South Dade, Miami Gardens, Overtown, Little Haiti/Little River, and Hialeah. Deepening our work in these five neighborhoods is one of the main new initiatives that emerged as part of Catalyst Miami’s latest strategic plan (to learn more about our strategic plan, please contact [email protected] requesting an invitation to Coffee with Catalyst).
The goal of the community visioning workshops is to gain insight on what is most important to residents in a fun and interactive approach. Residents were able to participate in activities that piqued their interest, including:
- Marking their favorite establishments on an asset map,
- Sharing the top 3 things residents would address if they were elected Mayor,
- Getting a check-up on personal finances at a pop-up financial clinic,
- Composing “zip-odes” to their respective neighborhoods (zip-odes is poetry created from your zip code and each letter in the name of your city),
- Informing us of what services they’d like to see us provide, and
- Being specific about how they prefer to communicate.
Residents and staff mingled throughout the events, discussing what was special to them about their neighborhoods and what could be improved. A few clients shared personal testimonies of free services they had received from Catalyst Miami.
The “One South Dade” workshop was held at Exit One Taproom in Florida City, a family-friendly lounge with an on-site food truck, while the “Voices of the Gardens” workshop was held at the YWCA Intergenerational Center, a bright and airy center perfect for community gatherings. Both events featured catering local from their respective neighborhoods.
If you live in South Dade, Miami Gardens, Overtown, Little Haiti/Little River, or Hialeah, and want to share your thoughts about our expanding operations, please contact Zelalem Adefris at [email protected].