The mission of DSS is to provide a safe place for youth to engage in educational activities and empower residents to get more involved in making their community a better place to live. While focusing on educational programming we hope to reduce the achievement gap in the community. DSS has been a mechanism for creating partnerships, fundraising to sustain programs, building social capital, community out-reach and connecting families to resources in the Brentwood neighborhood.
The Brentwood neighborhood is on the City’s north side, south of Warner Park and west of North Sherman Avenue. Housing in the area consists primarily of single family homes with a concentration of multifamily unit buildings (ranging from 2 to 24 units each) in a 4-block area along the neighborhood’s northern edge with the highest concentrations of poverty. The data reported is taken form the 2010 Dane County Census data for the Brentwood Neighborhood.
Brentwood Neighborhood is hidden by an enormous amount of green space and a small forest that we utilize through our science programs in the summer. There are over 200 youth that reside in Brentwood. Area schools include Sherman Middle School and Emerson Elementary School. In 2014 DSS organized a Neighborhood committee that consist of residents who live directly in Brentwood. The residents created a name for the committee called "Neighbors Empowering Neighbors" and a mission statement was formed collectively:
"Empower neighbors to stand and unite the Brentwood community by encouraging families to help one another. The Neighbors empowering Neighbors Committee provides support for families and connects them to the necessary resources. By uniting our voices we stand together against the crime, poverty and division throughout the neighborhood."
Identifying a location inside the community, providing youth programs and creating community involvement through the participation of the residents is vital to the transformation that is needed in the Brentwood Neighborhood.
It’s important to us to be as clear about what we do as the water we provide communities in need. This list details a majority of our recent initiatives that we need your participation in.