How We Began

Between 2010 and 2015, the founder of the Bridge Effect supported multiple organizations, working in the roles of process improvement, innovation, strategic development, behavioral healthcare administration and healthcare software development.  
 
In these roles, a recurring challenge was identified -- no resource existed to identify current stress risers within our community and within our education, healthcare, law enforcement and medical treatment services. Our founder began researching this service gap, and began montioring these issues.
 
His research uncovered three persistent, re-occurring issues:
  1. Not-for-profit and government service agencies have neither the financial resources nor the appropriate staffing to continuously solicit, receive and analyze community tension levels along with the current community needs assessments. Additionally, many current needs assessments are being conducted with low statistically-confident focus group data. This leads to a higher risk of needs assessments being inaccurate or incomplete. 
     
  2. The resulting service gaps caused by inaccurate service provision is causing an unknown level of social anxiety.
     
  3. The data currently being used to identify community needs is at best annually collected, and does not remain aligned with the communities' service expectations; therefore decisions are being made that cause increased social tension within the community.
In 2016, multiple civil unrest incidents occurred, with strong indicators of tensions levels elevating within the Martin and St. Lucie County communities. Without a consistent stream of data to measure, or any understanding of what causal agents were in effect, it was clear that there would be no way to accurately:
  • study current provided services in relation to current community tension levels
  • detect critical tension levels  prior to an escalation event
  • determine if levels continued to rise, drop, or stayed the same after a tension-rising event.
It was during a meeting that year with Kim Johnson, St. Lucie District 5 County Commissioner, along with a roundtable of concerned citizens and crisis de-escalation experts, that the idea was raised: what if a constant source of community service wants and tension-level data was created that would generate, by zip code, the tension levels within a community?
 
The Bridge Effect Foundation was formed July 20, 2016, to deliver:
  • a local, open-data, non-biased data source that collects monthly community service needs opinions and their related tension levels for identified basic human needs such as hunger, safety and peace of mind
     
  • a source of funding to support, once objective tension data has been analyzed by the community, campaigns to reduce root cause incitants to tension
     
  • the creation of public events that support the reduction of community tension through positive interaction and relations between our citizens and their service providers.

Spotlights

Bridge Effect Founder, Scott Armstrong Bridge Effect Founder, Scott Armstrong