Applying the Concepts of Bridges Out of Poverty

More than 100 people from across sectors and across Berkshire County attended the second in a series of Community-wide Bridges Out of Poverty workshops on January 10 at the Pittsfield Country Club. Participants who previously learned key concepts of the Bridges model now focused on how to implement those concepts in their everyday work.

National facilitator, Jodi Pfarr, walked the group through how differences in mental models, language, discourse, and hidden rules play out in our every day lives and how to use the information to better manage staff, communicate with co-workers, change agency policies, and other tools to be more effective.

Are you interested in hosting a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop for your organization? Click here to send us an email and we will get back to you.

November Working Cities Wednesday

A festive crowd gathered at the Second Congregational Church in November, despite a snowstorm. The potluck was amazing! Thank you to all who gave to the feast. The following pitches were made with a lively discussion.
Topic: Planning for a Community Police Office on Columbus Ave.
Lead: Carolyn Valli
Summary of discussion: Neighbors discussed strategies regarding hours of operation, neighborhood needs, volunteer needs, and other aspects of the office.
Needs: If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for the Community Police Office, please contact Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity at 442-3181.

Topic: Holiday Caroling for First Friday Artswalk
Lead: Linda Kelley
Summary of discussion: This was a continuation from October’s meeting. The group solidified plans about where and when to meet, what to bring, and what songs they would sing.
Needs: If you would like to participate in future singing opportunities, please contact Linda.

Topic: School Safety Assemblies
Lead: Barbara Bizzi
Summary of discussion: The group proposed working with the Pittsfield Public Schools to organize safety assemblies at the middle schools regarding topics of bullying, gangs, and drugs and how to avoid such negative interactions.
Needs: The group will follow up with contacts in the school district and with Pittsfield Community Connection and others with expertise in this area.

Topic: Trash reduction in neighborhoods
Lead: Sheila Kerber
Summary of discussion: The group discussed that nip bottles are of particular concern in the neighborhood and proposed a competition of whoever collects the most nip bottles would win an award and perhaps make a community sculpture from the collected bottles.
Needs: Further organization, possible marketing, connect with city Resource and Recovery Committee. If you are interested in supporting this effort, please contact Sheila.

The next Working Cities Wednesday will be January 23 from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm at Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires, 158 Tyler St., Pittsfield.