Project VISION Overview
Project VISION is a diverse coalition of over 300 social and health service agencies and organizations, schools, colleges, business organizations, City of Rutland municipal administrators, local, county, state and federal probation, parole and law enforcement agencies, faith based groups, volunteers and neighbors.
We are all united to address the fundamental social and public health issues facing our community with the goal of making Rutland one of the healthiest, safest and happiest places in America.
Underscoring our coalition’s collaborative spirit is the understanding that the challenges facing our community are greater than the scope of any single organization or agency. If we want to address and resolve the social and public health issues of the greater Rutland region, we must all coordinate each of our efforts. We recognize that meaningful change requires a new, comprehensive and more integrated collaboration among the many agencies and organizations serving in the Rutland region.
Rutland, one of the healthiest, safest, and happiest places in America!
We work together to improve health, expand community engagement and build great neighborhoods,
Collaboration for the greater good
Our first value affirms that our goals and objectives transcend those of any particular partner.
More importantly, it reflects our belief that by working together we can accomplish more than we ever could working alone. Reflecting this value, Project VISION has no independent paid staff or support structure.
Instead, we rely on the resources of our many generous partners. We are very proud of our lean and highly efficient organizational structure.
Focus on the positive – “I believe in Rutland”
Our second value is simply a recognition of the fact that the Rutland Region is blessed with an array of wonderful attributes and is an exceptional place to live and work.
A New Approach
In 2013, the former Chief of Police for the City of Rutland, James Baker, spearheaded the formation of Project VISION with the enthusiastic support of Mayor Christopher Louras and the Board of Aldermen. The Rutland City Police Department and Chief Baker were motivated to establish PV because of the understanding that the challenges facing our community were not going to be resolved simply by making more arrests and holding tough on criminal activity alone. Rather, real change for Rutland required addressing the numerous interwoven and underlying conditions of criminal activity and broader public health issues. Such an approach expanded far beyond the resource capabilities of the Rutland City Police Department, or any organization or agency for that matter, so real and substantive change for Rutland required a broad and collaborative community effort across numerous partners. And so, Project VISION was formed.
From the start, organizations and agencies serving the people of Rutland became Project VISION partners because of their recognition for the importance of a formal coalition. Prior to PV, the organizations and agencies of Rutland still pursued collaboration opportunities, but the Project VISION coalition offered a new and comprehensive structure to better coordinate and integrate collaboration. During these early years, the coalition concentrated its collaborative efforts in Rutland City’s Northwest Neighborhood and focused on three main areas of concern: treating addiction and substance abuse; reducing crime; building great neighborhoods.
Project VISION Today
As the number of Project VISION’s partners grew, so did the coalition’s geographic focus. With greater organizational capacity, the coalition gradually expanded its focus from the Northwest Neighborhood to all of Rutland City throughout the second half of the 2010’s. Then, in 2020, Project VISION underwent a strategic planning process to update PV’s mission to the current realities of the city. From this planning process, Project VISION formed two committees, the Health Committee and the Community Building and Neighborhood Committee, to be the focus groups that develop PV’s action steps. Additionally, Project VISION is now expanding it’s geographic focus to the surrounding towns and neighborhoods within Rutland County and actively encourages new partners from these nearby locations to become coalition partners. This expansion doesn’t detract from our focus and commitment to Rutland, but it reflects the reality that surrounding neighborhoods are fundamentally interwoven with the dynamics of Rutland City.
Access our Key Practices page to learn more about our guiding principles and key practices which help us translate our overarching goals into action and real results for the Rutland community.