Pastor Gary B. Hill, founder of Exodus Treatment Center Inc.

Photo by Leslie Kershaw

“Developing trust has been a very slow and systematic process simply because the residents have had to deal with a lot of broken promises. We were consistent, compassionate, and understanding in terms of what the community was dealing with. I made sure I showed up, I listened, and I was consistent with making sure that we delivered. And when we do that, people become more open and more honest. The work we’re doing reaches the deep core issues that the community is dealing with.

“It’s also important for us to have data about our communities that we can use, where we can look at it and see it from a different lens. Having data helps us understand exactly what our youth are challenged with and how to get them the support they need. I would like to see more data-driven work because it is an asset for other community-based organizations and nonprofits.”