Charlestown Community Website to Hold Final Meeting Before Launch

By Seth Daniel

Residents will have a special opportunity to view the new website and give final input before it goes live later this month in a meeting to be held on Jan. 18.

The Connect Charlestown Steering Committee announced it will host another Public Meeting to engage more of the Charlestown non-profits and educate the public on the details of the upcoming website launch.

The meeting will be held at Spaulding on Weds., January 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room on the first floor.

It will be the last public meeting before the site goes live and residents will get a sneak peak of it at the meeting.

The effort began last year with a desire to connect the residents, non-profits, community groups and civic groups. While those entities are very busy and hold many meetings and events, the Committee said too many people find it difficult to know when those things take place unless they are deeply connected to the organizations.

So, they partnered with Spaulding to bring in to become the clearing house for events and announcements. The site will have no news, advertising or opinions, but only information about community events, meetings and activities.

Following a community health needs assessment in Charlestown by MGH Center for Community Health Improvement and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in 2012 and again in 2015, the community identified this web portal as a strategy to connect everyone and provide needed information on all of the positive things happening in Charlestown.

The idea has been tried before, with minimal success, but with a professional web developer on board and the support of Spaulding, they believe this effort will prove different.

The nonprofit, Social Capital Inc. (SCI), has been selected to be the web developers and hosts for this project. Founded in 2002, SCI’s mission is to strengthen communities by connecting diverse individuals and organizations through civic engagement initiatives via community portal websites. SCI hosts 19 community websites throughout Eastern Massachusetts that help its members find local events, volunteer opportunities and helpful community resources. The web portal features would include a frequently updated source of community information, a searchable database of local services, and a Community Calendar of events which will be tailored to support the various initiatives underway in Charlestown.

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