About three years ago staff from Rio Vista CARE, Rio Vista Community Services and River Delta Unified School District began meeting to discuss how they could use their very scarce resources to better serve their common clients. If a family needs food assistance, it’s likely the children won’t do well in school and the family will probably benefit from social services. Those discussions grew and the three organizations formed an informal association which they called the Delta Collaborative. As they continued to discuss common problems in the community, they began to think about issues other than those they addressed directly with their services. So, for example, it was the Delta Collaborative that approached Solano County and arranged for the medical and dental vans that now come to Rio Vista.
In February of 2013, the R/UDAT team came to Rio Vista. Nearly 400 people showed up to provide input and to hear the results of that team’s efforts. The R/UDAT team charged RioVision with leading the effort to implement the R/UDAT recommendations. So a RioVision representative began meeting with the Collaborative, which had grown and now included Board members from the organizations as well as staff. Council Member Boulware began attending meetings and then Council Member Hampton was named as liaison from the City Council. Other community members joined as well.
One of the issues raised in the R/UDAT and in the discussions of the Collaborative was a Community Center. There was no definition of what a Community Center was to be, where it was to be, or what services might be delivered there. It was simply a vision. As the Collaborative worked to sharpen that vision, we realized that an informal association could not have legal standing to plan, design, build or buy a facility. We had to become a nonprofit corporation. So we took about a three month pause and incorporated, formed a board and obtained tax exempt status from the IRS.