Open Table Models

Communities can successfully address daunting social challenges. Many communities and states have effective systems to access formal services, but often do not have a process of accessing the other and equally important aspects of social drivers of health (SDOH). People with complex needs – including poverty, isolation, mental health, and chronic illness – need social connectedness and access to a broader array of social capital supports to move to healthier and better lives.

The Open Table model demonstrates how a trained, structured, collaborative approach can energize the relational and social capital in communities to provide a continuum of support and transform lives. Through an understanding of the inexhaustible resources of relational and social capital, the community can move from a scarcity perspective to one of abundance.

The Core Table Model

In the central Open Table model, through a “Table,” individuals are trained to use their vast relational capital and social networks (Open Table has named them Relational Assets™) to impact the social determinants of health for an individual or family. A group of volunteers forms a “Table,” guided by a “life plan” that outlines goals specific to individuals and families requesting assistance, and that are defined by the individuals and families. Over the course of a year, Open Table volunteers meet on a weekly basis to work with the person or family seeking support to create positive change.

The Table model operates with a theory of change, evidence base, online training and fidelity tools (funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – SAMHSA, foundations, faith communities and others). Open Table research shows that an individual or family can implement a plan to achieve their own vision for a better life with the support of a small group of volunteers who develop reciprocal relationships and invest their relational and social capital in the plan.

Core Table Model Web
Download The Open Table Theory of ChangeDownload The Open Table BrochureThe Core Table Model for Transitional Age Youth

The Network Table Model

Communities are implementing the Network Table Model to empower people to develop the better lives they envision for themselves and their children. The Network Table is a research-driven model training people to form teams that access who and what they know to empower people with complex needs to achieve goals they could not realize on their own. Complex needs include poverty, chronic and mental illness, substance use recovery and others.

Network Tables are trained to access their combined relational and social capital — their skills and personal, social, and business networks. The multiplication impact of social networks scales capacity to access supports and creates broad and deep access to solutions that help people with complex needs eliminate barriers to achieving better lives. The Network Table process recognizes that we all have many needs, and some are more crucial than others. Prioritizing needs and selecting the most crucial support can remove a barrier an individual or family cannot overcome on their own.

Download the Network Table Brochure
Network Table Model Web

Community Convening™

Community sectors are recognizing that working as a single sector alone cannot solve complex social challenges that are barriers to human and community development. Collaboration and co-investment are needed, but there are significant barriers that create siloed community sectors. These barriers include a lack of reciprocal relationships between sectors, deficits of knowledge about each other, disparate community visions, lack of shared training, and sometimes, a mistrust of motives.

Community Convening Model Web

Community sector silos are barriers to co-investment in social challenges

The Community Convening process evolves from the Open Table model, evidence base and experience, but scales impact from serving an individual or family to supporting a well defined, focused community initiative. The individuals serving on a Community Convening represent important community sectors. Community Convening almost always includes the implementation of Tables.