As a graduate student earning my degree from IUPUI’s School of Public and Environmental
Affairs (SPEA), I am participating in a capstone project that will mark the completion of my degree in
May. This semester, MCCOY has two different groups who are working on real projects for the organization! My group, which consists of myself and three other SPEA graduate students, has the privilege of working with MCCOY’s Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) team on the Co-location of Services Project. Co-location is the concept that many services can be delivered in one physical space. Sometimes, organizations may be physically co-located, which means that they share office space. Other times, they may only be providing services in a central location. Our group is exploring the types of co-locations models that exist and researching the best practices with regard to implementation. To assist MCCOY this semester, we have three goals:
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of co-location as a strategy.
Our research so far indicates that there are many benefits to organizations and clients when services are co-located. We will be creating a general cost/benefit analysis for MCCOY as a decision-making tool to determine when co-location is a feasible, cost-efficient, and effective strategy.
Identify best practices of co-location.
There are many sites, nationally and locally, which serve as examples of successful co-location
projects. We will survey and interview these sites to identify factors which contributed to their success, as well as to note current challenges they face. This information will be used to create a business plan detailing possible implementation strategies for co-locating services in Indianapolis.
Supplement asset mapping and gap analysis work.
MCCOY’s project partners at SAVI have done an excellent job identifying community assets and gaps. Our team will work to provide additional information that will contribute to the selection of the location(s) of the co-location project.
The major focus for our team over the next several weeks will be our survey and interviews. We have
developed a comprehensive survey that was sent this morning to approximately 100 co-location sites across the nation! We hope to learn more about how these projects started, as well as how they operate now. We have also selected a handful of sites nationally and locally to serve as models for MCCOY’s project. We will be conducting interviews with representatives from these sites to gain a more in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of co-location as a strategy and at the opportunities and threats that exist in the communities where the sites are located. By my next post, I anticipate that we will have some exciting results to share from collecting our data!
Over the past few months, we have really enjoyed working with MCCOY and have learned much about the organization’s role in the community. We’ve had the opportunity to attend the EIP task force meetings, and I personally was energized by the variety of partners in the room who share a vision for Hoosier families. Co-location projects require strong relationships between the partners in the project, and I believe that the Indianapolis nonprofit community regularly demonstrates a willingness to collaborate. As university students, I know that we are excited to offer our research to the larger collaborative effort.
If you are interested in learning more about our research, you can email our team at CoLo@mccoyouth.org.