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Imagine all the heroes combining their superpowers to defeat the hydras attacking their county.

We require partnerships and 100% collaboration in each county to survive and thrive. Heroes unite to defeat the hydras.


This twenty-part series introduces you to twenty key terms used in a local mobilizing process that you and your community will require to survive and thrive during colliding crises. The articles will reference the three-headed hydra of apathy, envy and fear, those people in positions of power who are fighting to keep a broken status quo.

Concept 17: Partnerships

To get anything of significance accomplished, we must build relationships and partnerships with the leaders and stakeholders working in government on the county and city levels. We need to collaborate with those working in school districts, higher education, nongovernmental organizations, foundations and all elected officials who control the budgets and priorities of counties and cities.

18 Heart-breaking Challenges

We can list the various problems that our thousands of public sector employees and nonprofit members are focusing on (in just one county). We find that their prevention efforts, pre-COVID-19, covered the noble goal of addressing the following costly challenges:

  1. Substance misuse
  2. DWIs
  3. Food insecurity
  4. Teen pregnancy
  5. Housing insecurity
  6. Bullying and Harassment
  7. Adverse childhood experiences and Trauma
  8. School drop out
  9. Suicidal ideation
  10. Untreated mental health challenges
  11. Domestic violence
  12. Obesity
  13. Cyber-stalking
  14. Youth crime
  15. Human trafficking
  16. Juvenile Justice involvement
  17. Child Protective Services involvement
  18. Sexual assault

Add 2 more challenges to make it an even 20

Today, as we wonder how long the era of pandemics and economic disruptions will last, we add to the above “to do” list two vital tasks:

19) viral infection prevention

20) employment and small business development during economic free fall

Many problems. One solution.

What these 20 challenges (and that list can be quite a bit longer) have in common is that most of them could be significantly reduced if everyone in one county, working in the arenas of public health, safety, education and youth development, worked to create a coordinated countywide system. Imagine all that work done in alignment.

Now imagine that one (1) strategy could reduce those 20 challenges, including pandemics and economic disruption. I repeat, one countywide strategy.

That strategy is the radically simple idea of ensuring that every county resident has timely access to ten vital services for surviving and thriving. Take a minute to let that sink in. If ten vital services are accessible in all the communities within your county’s border, you significantly reduce the 20 challenges that are the priority.

What are those ten vital services?


  • Medical and dental care
  • Behavioral health care
  • Food security programs
  • Housing security programs
  • Transportation to vital services


  • Parent supports including child care
  • Early childhood learning programs
  • Fully-resourced community schools with health clinics
  • Youth mentors
  • Job training aligned with the future job markets

But wait, how does it work?

How does access to ten vital services help my clients while supporting my particular prevention project?

You may be wondering, my job is all about workshops and connections with kids and parents. How does ensuring those kids and parents (and caregiving grandparents) access to ten vital services like health care, housing and food security and transportation end substance misuse? Or school drop out? Or suicide? The answer to that excellent question comes from decades of research focused on root causes, health disparities and the social determinants of health. It would take a 650-page book to explain it. And we invite you to read it free-of-charge. (See url below)

And, to make things very clear, workshops and connecting to families are a vital part of the process, we just make sure those folks we connect with have all the vital services they need.

Imagine a future when…

Imagine if everyone in your county working to reduce these 20 challenges gathered in one really big zoom meeting and decided to coordinate all their activities focused on ensuring the ten vital services. Imagine using the collective impact model (also known as having a shared vision, goals, activities, shared understanding of how data is used, etc).

Imagine is everyone on that call that everyone (including their work colleagues and agency directors) also committed to using the data-driven framework of Continuous Quality Improvement (the four-step process of assessing challenges, planning and identifying evidence-informed solutions, acting in partnership, evaluating progress).

Imagine that everyone working in the public sector has a firm understanding of health equity and social justice in order to end a host of disparities facing all county residents, including the most vulnerable.

Imagine, in each county, tracking and measuring all activities focused on increasing access to vital services.

What would countywide collaboration focused on ending 20 challenges by ensuring ten vital services look like? It looks a lot like the 100% Community initiative.

Vital local partnerships: Linked online and in spirit

The work of the 100% Community initiative, guided by the book 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving offers one strategy. It is a new data-driven, cross-sector and tech-empowered strategy.

It is only through trusting relationships and partnerships that we will end the 20 challenges. Without trust, we remain in our deeply troubling status quo.

The Choice

We can make a choice. In each county, all those thousands of people working to end 20 challenges can work in isolation. (The three-headed hydras absolutely love this option called “divide and diminish.”)

Or we commit to a series of 100% goals: 100% alignment, 100% collaboration, and 100% countywide communication, to end 20 challenges with a shared vision. We commit to the strategy to build user-friendly services in ten interrelated sectors across the county for 100% of residents. Everyone. Everywhere. This is the work of heroes combining their superpowers.

Interested? Click on the url for “100% Collaboration” below.

See 100% Community, Chapter 11: Courageous Champions vs. Keepers of the Status Quo

The future is what we make it. Join the evolution.

Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of Joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. If one of my illustrations looks like a real human or three-headed hydra, that’s total coincidence. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Questions? 100% collaboration awaits you here:

A NY Times bestselling author, social justice activist, Oprah guest, co-author of Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras, 100% Community and Anna, Age Eight.

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