Evaluation of Oakland Unite: Year 1 Strategy Report

Publisher: Oakland, CA: Mathematica Policy Research
Nov 16, 2017
Authors
Naihobe Gonzalez, Johanna Lacoe, Ebo Dawson-Andoh, Armando Yanez, Natasha Nicolai, and Sarah Crissey

Key Findings:

  • Adult life coaching agencies consistently target the population recommended by Oakland Unite and staff’s descriptions of their work were highly consistent with the life coaching model presented in the Oakland Unite trainings and best practices for intensive case management.
  • Participating in adult life coaching decreases the likelihood of arrest for a violent offense in the six months after enrollment by 1 percentage point, relative to a comparison group. There are no differences in the likelihood of arrest for any offense or a gun offense between the adult life coaching group and the comparison group. Agencies report that 27 percent of participants reach employment training milestones and 32 percent are placed in jobs following participation in the program.
  • All employment and education support service agencies provide structured supports to participants to address the largest challenges to employment stability—housing and personal barriers such as anger management.
  • Participating in adult EESS decreases the likelihood of arrest for any offense in the six months after enrollment by 6 percentage points. Participation also decreases the likelihood of a violent offense by 1 percentage point, but there is no difference in the likelihood of arrest for a gun offense between the adult EESS group and the comparison group. Exploratory analyses suggest these effects are concentrated among participants with no prior arrests. Agencies report that almost 40 percent of adult EESS participants are placed in jobs.
Funded by the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2014 (Measure Z), Oakland Unite invests in community-based violence prevention programs throughout the city with the goal of interrupting and preventing violence. The four-year evaluation of Oakland Unite includes annual agency-level snapshots, annual strategy-level reports, and a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of participation in Oakland Unite-funded programs on individual outcomes over a four-year period. This annual strategy-level report provides in-depth preliminary analyses of two sub-strategies: (1) adult life coaching, and (2) adult employment and education support services (EESS). The report also includes an analysis of the network of Oakland Unite grantees and considerations for practice and future research.