February 2014 Update

Isles fosters self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities.  Why families?  Because despite all the changes to the “family,” it is still our strongest social unit.  Our families enormously impact each of us and our neighborhoods – and they are strong predictors of whether or not we will live our lives in poverty. 

Working with youth who want to become successful, we have seen families both help – and hurt – their efforts. 

As a result, we recently added a range of Isles services for Isles Youth Institute family members. These services include  housing assistance,  healthy food access,  health care,  mental health care, job training and placement, and financial literacy and training.

Last month, we held a Family Health Night to introduce families to these new services and opportunities, like joining a community garden.  This islesWorks issue describes that expansion, and some of the energetic, quality staff, like Esther Brahmi, who keep their eyes on the prize – family self-reliance.

Finally, while it is easy to talk about self-reliance and sustainability, it is much tougher to manage an organization that works to bolster them.  Recently,  I was asked to give a talk at the United Nations on that topic titled, Sustainable Development: Rethinking Management of Development Organizations.  You can read my comments here.  The talk will also be published by World Information Transfer in their World Ecology report.

With gratitude, and in community,

Marty Johnson