2-1-1 VIRGINIA is an integral part of Virginia's emergency planning.

Looking Forward

The future of the Council of Community Services is shaped by fifty years of experience and growth.  We have found that “planning is more than fact-finding or hypothesis testing.  Planning requires vision and ideals, creativity as well as analysis, and judgment as well as technique” .  We believe that vision and ideals are rooted in our community and most meaningful when shaped by the people who live here.  Fact finding and analysis can be and has been provided by the Council of Community Services over the past five decades but creative solutions to increasingly complex problems have come as a result of the Council’s ability to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to reach consensus on data driven solutions.

Leadership at the Council understands the value of information and has built one of Virginia’s largest and most effective information and referral system through the incubation and launch of 2-1-1 VIRGINIA.  More importantly the Council believes that public access to that information is a vital key to the future well being of our communities.  The pathway forward will be technology driven and rich in information for increasingly larger segments of our community.  The Council will continue its efforts to expand the tracking of more than 150 community indicators as it improves upon the original design of the electronic library that provides immediate access to the data within.

The near future for the Council of Community Services will be dominated by existing environmental factors; chief among which is a prolonged recession and projected long term recovery.  Traditional models of service delivery are collapsing along with existing silos of financial support.  Replacing these existing models will be more comprehensive strategies integrating and addressing issues such as housing, homelessness, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, education and social service investments in a manner that considers the interdependent challenges facing individuals and families in our community.

We envision a future where the Council of Community Services will be increasingly called upon to provide information and to help communities and jurisdictions identify consensus built solutions consisting of new strategies that take into account the interdependent challenges facing all of us in this 21st century.

McDowell, University of Southern California