The Westside Collaborative didn’t begin with the intention of creating a backbone organization to a collective impact initiative. Common sense told a group of community leaders they might be able to do more good within their neighborhood if they collaborated.
It really was that simple.
As more people joined to assist in the issues that were being addressed, more people were becoming aware of issues they had not yet witnessed. From there, more local leaders and organizations were contacted, adding more people to this collaborative concept, bringing with them their own set of challenges to share.
This growing group of can-doers eventually found traction and found itself in need of a name as more and more community members drew interest. This is where the Westown Collaborative was born.
It began as a neighborhood group and aimed to continue as such. However, as more challenges surfaced and teams were formed to overcome them, it became obvious: the experts needed in many of these areas were not always within their specific neighborhood.
Eventually, the Westown Collaborative became the Westside Collaborative, with its own staff and its own set of guiding strategies to overcome the challenges once felt by the Westown Collaborative.
The Westside Collaborative is serving as the backbone organization to collective impact work, happening in Westside Grand Rapids communities. We’re striving to improve the resident experience of each 501c3 organization, while assisting them with the challenges our communities face through strategic partnerships, organizational relationships and teamwork, and joint efforts being steered by the very residents who will benefit.
The Westside Collaborative is a national leader in this concept. We’re showcasing the diversity and spirit of the Westside, while bringing together agencies who can create great change by focusing on a geographic community. We envision a diverse community marked by Equity, Inclusion, and Hope.