Abdirazak Ibrahim was living at the Hartland Apartments when UNP launched its Partnership Center there in 2004. Both of his parents attended citizenship and English classes at the center. Abdirazak himself approached UNP around 2010, seeking support for his fledgling organization, the Somali Community Self-Management Agency, which addresses basic needs such as housing, food, and language acquisition, so that refugee families can integrate into the US and attain self-sufficiency. UNP supported the Self-Management Agency in registering as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.
Abdirazak joined the UNP Hartland Resident Committee as a community leader. Through UNP, he built partnerships with the College of Social Work and the Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies at the University of Utah. Graduate students have worked closely with Abdirazak to build the organization’s capacity, while advancing their own learning. The agency continues to offer classes on the weekends at the UNP Hartland Partnership Center.
Community Capacity & Wellbeing partnerships bring together residents, community organizations, and higher education partners to advance the priorities of west side families in the areas of housing, health & wellness, employment, safety, environment, local organizational & community development, civic engagement, and language acquisition. While these partnerships often focus on meeting the most basic needs of a community, family, and individual, they simultaneously build the capacity of community organizations and systems of higher education who are engaged in actively working with the community to find and create long-lasting and sustainable solutions.
Long-Term Goals Include:
- Two-way integration
- Individuals and families have opportunities for learning about and connecting with local communities, as well as the larger systems that affect their lives.
- Community organizations and systems of education have opportunities to engage with residents and community groups for the purpose of expanding their capacity to implement research, teaching, and other practices in partnership with, and informed by, the communities with which they work.
- Family and neighborhood stability by ensuring that all residents have the resources, access, information, and opportunities they need for educational success.