Silberman School of Social Work: Community Navigator Program

In summer 2016, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College was selected to receive funds under the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII) to develop a Community Navigator program to connect individuals to the resources and services they need and to increase coordination among city agencies and community-based service providers.

New York City has many services and resources available to address any number of needs, but many people in need do not or cannot access all the resources that could support them. Some systems are siloed, and some can be complicated to navigate independently. Community navigators work on the go, helping individuals connect to vital services that they want or need across organizations and systems.

With these funds, Silberman is recruiting a team of navigators to provide peer support to clients holistically. Unlike many peer programs, navigators bring great diversity in lived experienced and do not rely on one shared lived experience. Their lived experiences span systems, offering insight and expertise in multiple New York City services areas. In addition, Silberman is developing a training program to supplement the Navigator’s lived experience with systems knowledge, engagement and assessment skills.

This investment, along with other investments and initiatives under CJII, form a comprehensive set of strategic investments that, together, will have a significant, lasting impact on public safety and justice reform in New York City.