In Pleasant Hill, we have the great fortune of having a campus, Crestwood Healing Center, with two residential programs for our residents.  Crestwood Healing Center serves adults of all ages, needs and interests; employs staff in different departments who work various days and shifts; and has the normal difficulties of getting everyone on the same page.  In late 2017, in an attempt to bring our campus closer together, we set out on a process to create a community agreement that would set guidelines for how everyone on our campus is expected to treat one another.

Like with most activities on our campus, this process was inclusive and open to any interested residents and employees.  As we began gathering ideas around our community, it became clear that the focus of our agreement would be centered on respect and inclusiveness.  As the process continued, it added elements of holding patience and an understanding for one another, as all of us are going through our own experiences.  The developing community agreement included input from individuals, groups and members from our monthly Community Meeting.  The team leading this process sought out as many voices as possible, and a few months later, the campus agreed on a final version.

Our Community Agreement hangs on our walls throughout the campus and is read before the start of each monthly Community Meeting.  It is introduced to new residents and new employees and is the basis for how we all, staff and residents alike, conduct ourselves.  It informs decisions throughout the campus and works together with our campus’ mission statement.  It is not always a perfect solution to ensure respect is given because as human beings we all have tough moments and make mistakes, but it is a reminder for all of us of what it means to live and work together.  

Our Community Agreement is about building more community on our campus and has hopefully made us a little more connected and brought us strength in our togetherness.  Our campus culture is increasingly one of respect and embracing differences and by making the agreement a living part of the campus ensures that we will keep moving forward in that direction.  While it took time to get to our final version of our Community Agreement, the process itself was meaningful, and certainly replicable across the rest of our Crestwood campuses.  We’re happy to help anyone who is interested in getting started!

Contributed by: Travis Curran, Campus Administrator, Crestwood Healing Center, Pleasant Hill