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Review for Human Services Center Corporation, Turtle Creek, PA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

As founding Executive Director of the Human Services Center, I have been most impressed with how HSCC has continually utilized and developed student interns from the School of Social Work and other programs and schools to staff and develop its programs and services. This investment in young professional talent and commitment to the community has been a strength of the Center and the Mon Valley Providers Council. The current Executive Director was my social work intern and has developed into an outstanding leader moving the Center further than I could have imagined in a short time, and the Associate Director was also a social work intern under the current executive. This focus on mentoring and developing leadership has produced many strong leaders for the nonprofit sector and has provided an exemplary model of leadership transition at the Center. I continue to be a donor, as well as a liaison for student internships for the Center.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Human Services Center played a significant role in establishing the Mon Valley Provider Council duirng the industrial and economic decline of this region in the 1980s. However, when others pretty much walked away from this initiative, the Human Services Center continued to lead, staff and support this vital human services network to the largely self-sufficient and model human service council it is today. The Center walks the talk of Collaboration.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I did, and I took it to a certain level that the current leadership have not only sustained but enhanced. The Human Services Center's Wishart Award for Nonprofit Excellence was well-deserved.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the wonderful and dedicated people of the Mon and Westinghouse Valley who, even in the toughest of times, have learned to work together and collaborate. Just look at the many successful collaboration in the Mon Valley - Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments, Mon Valley Initiative, Mon Valley Consortium, McKeesport Collaborative, and many more, as well as colllaborations across sectors between human services and business (Chamber of Commerce and others). Working together seems a way of life here.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Interested in the people they serve, and most were they people they served. This is not just a place where folks come for service, but, more importantly a place where folks come to be of service.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Refurbish the Center, which is showing its age, and establish an endowment for ongoing service collaboration planning, development and implementation.

Ways to make it better...

If I had had the financial support the Center has today... I still remember during the Mon Valley Commission, when we were organizing the Mon Valley Providers Council, and many of the Commission's task groups were charged with "What funding do you need for... transportation improvements... economic development... or several other areas?" However, for human services the charge was "If your funding was cut 25% in the coming year, what could you do to continue services?" Not an equitable charge, but the Mon Valley Providers Council is still here and services have grown because providers learned to work more effectively and efficiently together.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

To continue its primary role as a catalyst, planner, developer and coordinator of services and service networking, and not just become a primary service provider.

One thing I'd also say is that...

My civic engagement students had an amazing experience helping out with the Center's KABOOM playground build in October 2006. More large scale service projects like this around the valley for young people to learn about civic engagement and community service will help create the next generation of "givers" in the Mon Valley. I will continue to make my annual contribution to the Center and its work in the still distressed Mon Valley.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I was the founding director of the Human Services Center and a founder of the Mon Valley Providers Council.