I remember the day I cried like a baby when told in order to use the company car as an employee at the "City of Seattle" I'd have to give up my New York drivers license and apply for one as a resident of Washington State.
RESIDENT !! I didn't want to be a resident of Washington, I wanted to go back home to New York, turn the clock back, make different choices so I could choose the options I wanted.
For anyone who has lost a job, a home, moved to start over, told they have a life-altering illness, has a physically or developmentally disabled family member, caring for an aging parent, fighting an addiction, struggling to readjust to civilian life, events out of your control brings out who you are at your core. It will cripple or encourage you to open a door to your future. Well I couldn't go back home and I didn't know how to quit.
I had to accept the reality of starting over at a time and age when my peers were planning post-retirement trips around the globe or second careers and self-employment to fulfill earlier passions and dreams.
Cheri Denise Coleman, MBA
My job at the City of Seattle was to help nonprofit and faith-based organizations become "assisting agencies" with the Department of Health and Human Services. I never imagined I would find what I was born to do, fulfilling what came natural from that revelation PartnerCafe-Bridging the Gap across Sectors was created.
I worked along side of decision-makers representing city, state and federal agencies whose policies directly affected the lives of communities across King County and the state.
Nonprofit and faith-based organizations becoming "partners" with these agencies was meant to make it easier to reach the diverse ethnic and demographic communities they served. People go where they feel welcomed and understood. In a global community where language can be the major barrier to a job, having someone who understood the culture beyond just translating the language makes all the difference. Having someone who walks with you transforms lives and affects policies as change agents.
What I soon discovered was none of these agencies, nonprofits or faith-based organizations were talking to one another. Each was committed to serving the public but few recognized the need to do it as an interdependent collaborative.
PartnerCafe was created to bridge that gap and we do it by bringing everyone to the table.