BEAUFORT, SC –
After five years of diligent community discovery, coordination and
collaboration, things have really started to come together for the Together for
Beaufort Project, according to an interim report published recently by the
Beaufort County Alliance for Human Services.
“It is our hope that this report will
inform citizens and policy makers and stimulate community discussions to drive
positive changes in our quality of life,” said Alliance Chairman Rev. Manuel
Holland in an opening letter to the community.
Holland also encouraged individuals to “read the report with an eye for how YOU
can get involved because together we can make a difference.”
report is based on the work done by dozens of individuals working in various
coalitions on specific projects to improve the quality of life in Beaufort
County at the same time recognizing the challenges posed by austere economic
times,” explained Fred Leyda, facilitator for the Alliance.
the economy tightens, the collaborative efforts of all those who want to help
become even more important,” Leyda said.
interim report documents the differences that have been made since the launch
of the Together for Beaufort project in 2005, when Beaufort County joined other
model communities nationwide that were monitoring “community indicators” to
identify significant issues and to plan improvement strategies. The working
plan was to bring the people, organizations, and governments of Beaufort
Country together in a spirit of coordination and collaboration to better the
community and the quality of life for its residents.
the inaugural phase of the project, The Beaufort County Alliance for Human
Services (now more than 100 members strong, including social service agencies, religious organizations,
educational institutions, chambers of commerce and government) created community Work Groups to develop actions to address each of
the project’s four goals: building a sustainable economy, breaking the cycle of
illiteracy, breaking the cycles of poverty that impact children, the elderly,
and the working poor, and balancing community growth in a manner that promotes
and protects the health of residents and the environment.
For Beaufort work groups established during the project’s first five years
include: Affordable Housing Consortium, Beaufort County Early Childhood
Coalition, Beaufort County School District, Literacy Volunteers of the
Lowcountry, Coalition for Aging in Place, Reduce Adolescent Pregnancy Alliance,
Adequacy of Prenatal Care, Eat Smart, Move More Lowcountry, Mental Health
Access Coalition and the Water Quality
addition to the exciting and positive progress made, the interim report also
highlights the work that still needs to be done in order to meet the Together
for Beaufort project goals.
the current economic recession, all areas of everyday living (family,
education, economy, health care, government, environment, and more) are
stretched thin with limited resources,” Holland stated.
“Collaboration is especially important
today since, on a daily basis, communities nationwide confront unprecedented
challenges to their quality of life.”
The Together for
Beaufort Interim Report can be downloaded from: Community
Foundation of the Lowcountry: www.cf-lowcountry.org.