Nurturing the Next Generation

During the last decade, the City of Fairfield and NorthBay Healthcare – the only community-based health care system in Solano County – have joined forces to pursue community revitalization and improve public health.

Added to the partnership was The Leaven, a nonprofit group that works with businesses, police and fire departments, local government, school administrators and teachers, church groups and concerned neighbors to bring after-school mentoring and tutoring programs as a revitalization tool to struggling neighborhoods where dropout rates are out of control and gangs threaten the peace of the community.

At the 2017 Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce Buzz Awards in the Harbor Theater on the Suisun City waterfront, NorthBay Healthcare and the City of Fairfield earned the coveted Community Partnership Award for partnering to open a new Leaven facility on Dana Drive, adjacent to its Fairfield hospital campus.

The year before, NorthBay Healthcare looked to improve the quality of life of its neighbors in the Dana Drive neighborhood. Historically troubled by crime and ongoing violence, the neighborhood became a priority.

A Fairfield task force had been focused on troubled neighborhoods. So the city and NorthBay leaders organized an outdoor community meeting that featured free flu shots, medical screenings, health tips, police and firefighter displays and food and drinks. Later, landlords and property owners met on the hospital campus with city officials and NorthBay leaders to discuss how to improve the quality of life for tenants of the apartment complexes that dominate Dana Drive.

The city tackled the need for more crime prevention, including improved lighting and surveillance cameras. Meanwhile, NorthBay Healthcare looked for a way to help young people avoid unhealthy activities and behavior.

That's when The Leaven came into the picture. NorthBay Healthcare provided a duplex it owns on Dana Drive to house a new after-school tutoring center. The city used federal grant money to convert the residential unit into a neighborhood youth center.