What We've Done
For years, residents in Northeast Spokane have faced economic struggles with grit and hope for the future. In 2015, The Zone Project formed out of a desire to build upon past neighborhood planning efforts with a new, more collaborative approach known as collective impact. Over 50 organizations and many residents came together across multiple sectors to develop a 10 year Strategic Plan for a Federal Promise Zone under the leadership of Andre Wicks from Spokane Public Schools. This plan helped pave the way for results-based strategies the Zone Project is now implementing to create transformational change in the areas of housing, safety, health, jobs, and education
Although we were not designated a Promise Zone, the community stayed committed to taking action for change. In 2016-2017, we catalyzed several affordable homeownership initiatives, funded a Second Harvest mobile food bus to advance greater food security, and partnered to form a Gang Free Spokane coalition to increase safety for youth and neighborhoods.
In January 2018, former Spokane City Councilmember Amber Waldref was hired to provide executive leadership for The Zone Project with its new backbone partner, The Northeast Community Center. Since this time, we have established an Advisory Board of neighbors and partners and updated our theory of change (see below) to focus and direct our collective work. We activated a successful summer learning initiative in 2018 and 2019 and have formed action teams in the areas of food security, employment pathways, student expanded learning, and intercultural and community connection. We are developing supports for families at the individual level (one-on-one mentoring), at schools, and at early learning centers to create neighborhood-level impacts.
We continue to build upon our assets, partner across sectors, listen to and engage families as leaders, and measure our progress to ensure lasting impact.
Where and Why
When youth are encouraged to be leaders, and parents and caregivers feel supported, they are free to fulfill their potential and our community is stronger. Too many children and families in Spokane face barriers when trying to achieve their academic, financial, and life goals. The Zone Project is a community initiative shining the light on deep disparities in health, education, and economic outcomes among children, youth and families in our Northeast neighborhoods while generating hope and opportunity through collective action.
As a partnership of organizations and families in Northeast Spokane, we are committed to:
Building powerful and inclusive connections.
Opening doors of opportunity with families
Creating an impact that lasts for generations
The Zone Project partners represent diverse fields (education, social services, business) and are focused on listening to families, aligning programs and resources, and ensuring the goals of children and families can be realized.
Northeast Spokane families lead our efforts. Community partners help us reach our goals. We all work together to create change.
The Zone Project measures change in neighborhoods to see how we are reaching goals in the areas of education, jobs, health, housing, and safety together.
Block by block, our promise is to listen to and support families in Northeast Spokane. All of us can build a safe, healthy, and thriving community. Together, we’re stronger.
Theory of Change
2Generation: Supporting and aligning programs that provide high-quality early childhood and K-12 education simultaneously with adult learning, parenting support, family health, and whole family economic success.
Focused on equity: overcoming racial and economic inequities and ensuring all people have access to opportunity in Spokane.
Listening to and engaging youth and families as equal partners.
Sharing information and tracking measurable outcomes for both kids and parents.
A comprehensive approach, with multiple cross-sector strategies and change of systems to help families achieve their housing, education, employment, safety, and health goals.
Building and aligning current community investments, assets, and capacity before developing new programs -- creating an eco-system of opportunity.
Innovative and Adaptive. Using learning and evaluation for continuous improvement. Trying multiple approaches to reach desired outcomes. Adapting best practices that work for Spokane families.