Community Navigation as a Field of Practice: Reframing Service Delivery to Meet the Needs of Communities’ Marginalized Populations

Key Points

Community navigators help individuals and families access local services and assistance through a combination of referrals and interpersonal support. The Denver Foundation launched the Basic Human Needs Navigator Learning Community in February 2014 to help navigators working with local organizations and community members practicing navigation independently improve their practice and identify similarities and differences in their approaches.

This article discusses the multiyear, peer-learning project, including the general lessons the foundation learned about both navigation and the use of a learning-community approach to reach its field-building goals.

Reports from participating organizations and community members over four years suggest the efficacy of both navigation as a model for addressing gaps in service provision and of the learning-community approach in driving early-stage field-building outcomes.

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The Foundation Review

Publication/Event Date:

Dec. 2018

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