Board Spotlight: Tracey Weeden, MSW, LCSW/LICSW

Tracey Weeden, MSW, LCSW/LICSW; RCAP Solutions Board of Directors, Vice Chair

Tracey Weeden is the Executive Director of Brockton Behavioral Health Facility at Boston Medical Center and joined the RCAP Solutions Board of Directors in January of 2021.

She has extensive experience in the healthcare and nonprofit arena, with a background in administration, behavioral health, and homelessness prevention. In her previous position as Chief Operating Officer for First Step of Sarasota, she focused on affordable behavioral health treatment and system of care optimization. She also has experience managing a private practice as a psychotherapist.

Tracey was drawn to social work because of her childhood experiences growing up in an urban environment. She remarked “there was a lot of violence, parentification, mental illness, and substance misuse. But amid the prevalence of trauma, there was also so much hope for a better way of life. At an early age I was interested in other people’s stories and potential. When I went to college, I did not know what I wanted to do, but knew I wanted to break the cycle of oppression in the community I had grown up in. I majored in social work, and it just felt right. At an early age, I felt sensitive to others’ needs and seemed to be able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Although I don’t make it a practice to disclose my experiences, oftentimes I deeply understand the barriers to quality of life clients experience.”

Tracey is a former employee of RCAP Solutions, where she was a member of the leadership team, as Director of Counseling and Homeless Services. “When I was at RCAP, I absolutely loved the work,” she commented. “Working at RCAP, I showed up 100% every day for the organization and our clients. They were long days, but it was all worth it. RCAP is deeply mission driven. RCAP’s services for people in need is undeniable. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a community, helping people where they are and supporting them as they move to a better place? RCAP’s work aligns with my values and everything I stand for as a social worker, a woman, and a woman of color.”

Tracey went on to say “RCAP’s work comes down to people helping people. This resonates with me and is what’s unique about RCAP. The employees genuinely want their clients to achieve a better quality of life. At RCAP we are paying it forward.”

Tracey feels strongly about being an active board member. “I want to be a real objective resource to the leadership team and a sounding board. I understand the culture and dynamics as a social worker and as a businesswoman.”

When talking about her experience serving on the board, Tracey exclaimed, “It’s been fun! I like the diverse expertise the volunteer team brings to the table. The board is open to looking at things differently and trying new ideas. This will determine the sustainability of the organization overall. The board is engaged, understands the impact of the work, and is realistic about what it takes to provide services. It’s very exciting to be a part of this energized board.”

When asked about her future goals for the organization, she replied, “I hope that a year from now we are in the process of implimenting a successful, operational, and people-driven strategic plan. I believe we can really put RCAP on the map as a leader in all aspects of community and environmental services.”

Tracey is a self-published author and has volunteered for the City of Worcester’s Human Rights Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s suicide prevention initiative. She is currently a Commissioner for the Massachusetts Status of Woman of Plymouth County. Tracey earned a MS in social work at Boston University and is working towards her Doctorate degree in Business Administration with a focus in Health Services Administration at Northcentral University. She brings a deep understanding of the programmatic, funding, and strategic needs of the organization, along with nonprofit leadership, fundraising and community outreach.

When asked about her personal and professional achievements, Tracey commented, “it was always a goal for me to do more of the work in helping others to grow and lift themselves out of traumatic environments. I’m proud of that. In this field of social work, there are not many Black People or Native Americans in leadership positions. I don’t see a lot of “me” represented and I will never take it for granted. I hope to be an example and to inspire others.”

In her free time, Tracey enjoys creating things. “I love candle making, jewelry making, upcycling furniture, gardening, and creating a new space in my yard or home. It helps me relax. Being creative helps me to think outside of the box overall. I enjoy focusing on the hobby and it’s extremely relaxing for me.”

A well-maintained system is crucial to protecting your drinking water quality and the surrounding environment. Surveys have shown that many of us know little about septic systems. Do you know where your septic system is located? Should you be concerned with how often your septic tank is pumped out? Can your septic system affect the water quality of your well? Do you know how to maintain a healthy septic system?
This webinar will cover basics of wastewater biology, soils, components of a conventional system, operation & maintenance and innovative/alternative systems. There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions.

This “Basic Math” course is a refresher course for those looking to brush up on their basic math skills, whether for daily operation calculations or in preparation for an operator’s exam. We will start at the beginning, quickly covering the basics of rounding, fractions, percentages, and geometry, then will spend a bit more time on conversion factors and re-arranging equations.

Case Study: From a Disadvantage to an Opportunity – Assessing Community Needs & Capacity

Written By: Matt Cassedy, Connecticut State Manager

BACKGROUND: Aging infrastructure is a reality for many communities facing needed projects and improvements. Asset management, inventory tools, GIS and funding programs have increased substantially to meet industry and community needs. Financially, these communities are experiencing larger projects with increasing project costs with longer terms ranging from 20-40 years. Many small communities have functioned without the need to consider larger projects that address entire distribution systems or treatment overhauls. Focusing on having a certified operator, emergency power, tank maintenance, pump replacement, lab testing, flushing, and dealing with emergencies have been consistent priorities. Priorities for many small communities have been added, replacing lead service lines and potentially sections of main pipe to remove lead sections and affected areas. Replacing services and primary piping is a large step in more ways than one. Often, for small communities, the location and available access to all the assets like service lines and mains are difficult, especially without ways to isolate or redirect water service to limit multiple customer impact. Large projects for small systems with limited revenue sources is where help is needed the most and where RCAP can help. For School Hill Water Association (School Hill) in Broad Brook, CT, the funding hurdles needed to address the infrastructure projects seemed too big. School Hill is a Public Water System (PWS) that serves 31 residential homes in Broad Brook, CT. Faced with major infrastructure replacement the board of School Hill sought assistance from CT State Revolving Fund (SRF). After reviewing the project, cost calculations, estimates and timeline the CT SRF loan department worked with School Hill and stakeholders on preliminary figures.

THE CHALLENGE: Funding programs that have a matrix for disadvantaged criteria look at specific data to assess the eligibility, approval, and terms of loans and programs. Official data used to assess the need for funding assistance don’t always accurately represent smaller communities. Broad Brook is a Census Designated Place (CDP) within the town of East Windsor, CT. The data used to represent School Hill would incorporate all Broad Brook CDP. CDPs are typically an identified area with a population concentration and used for statistical purposes. School Hill, as a PWS with only 31 homes, does not meet the same criteria to use census data from Broad Brook. School Hill needed data that represented a real financial snapshot and assessment based on their unique community data.

RCAP and CT SRF met and discussed School Hill’s project plans and RCAP services to provide a disadvantaged criteria assessment. Prior to the assessment, RCAP and CT SRF agreed that an income survey to the customers of School Hill water system would provide a much-needed piece in the assessment.

THE APPROACH & SOLUTION: RCAP Solutions worked with CT SRF and School Hill to provide an income survey to the community. The survey was completed within a month and a final report provided additional data used in the disadvantaged criteria assessment. The income survey targeted all 31 homes and resulted in statistically accurate and sound results used to determine community impact from proposed projects and loans. Additional consideration addressed user rates, operational fees, debt service, project information, loan data and economic trends. Between the start and completion of the assessment alone, costs from various vendors and suppliers were increased. The final income survey and disadvantaged criteria assessment provided real data, calculations, and considerations representative to the community of School Hill, so that CT SRF could make determinations on disadvantaged criteria loan terms.

THE IMPACT: Connecting programs and funds to communities that can benefit from much needed system improvements and upgrades is the center of what RCAP provides to small communities. Through technical, managerial, and financial assistance, RCAP works with industry partners, funders, and primacy agencies, to positively impact water communities. Within RCAP’s expertise there is no limit to how the application of services can build and sustain communities. With various state approaches to small and/or disadvantaged criteria, RCAP curtails outcomes and priorities to meet the unique needs of individuals and communities. RCAP’s essential role in water infrastructure improvements and healthy communities shows with improved infrastructure stability, operational resiliency, and community support.

RCAP Solutions’ 2022 Impact Report – A Year of Rejuvenation

2022 was a year marked by growth, development, and ultimately rejuvenation as RCAP Solutions began its rebound from a tumultuous and transformational time. View our 2022 Impact Report to learn more about last year’s accomplishments and check out stories from the people we serve!

We thank our partners and continued supporters and invite you to join us as we continue to work towards a collective vision of a world made up of strong and resilient communities and individuals, confident in their potential and with ownership of their success.

We look forward to a productive 2023 as we remain steadfast in our commitment to fulfilling our mission: To foster personal and public self-reliance and improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and the communities in which they live.

Need help managing your finances? Interested in developing a sustainable spending plan? At this workshop you will learn about managing personal finances and be empowered to make better decisions in order to achieve financial stability for yourself and your family!