January 2021 Supporter Spotlight: Trellis & “The Secret Sauce”

January 20 2021

StandUp for Kids - Orange County

In every thriving community is a stabilizing force or “secret sauce.” That “secret sauce” for Costa Mesa is Trellis.

Trellis is a Costa Mesa nonprofit organization whose mission is to facilitate a collaborative approach to resolving the city’s greatest challenges: homelessness, literacy, and neighboring. They work to connect organizations such as businesses and churches with each other in order to create change. Trellis was formed by a group of pastors who were meeting weekly to pray for the city, and were led to move beyond prayer into action to help their community.

Leading the charge is Executive Director Ian Stevenson. Regarding the mission of Trellis, he explains that “No one nonprofit, no one business, no one church can solve this issue. By coming together, we can work to foster change. When those connections are made the impact is multiplied.” Trellis brings in “cooks” from all over the city, who each bring their own ingredients to the kitchen. It is with these ingredients that the “secret sauce” is made.


Trellis Executive Director Ian Stevenson

Since homelessness is one of the three priorities for Trellis's work in Costa Mesa, Trellis has served as a committed partner in the work we do at StandUp for Kids. Trellis has connected StandUp for Kids to numerous other organizations with similar goals in order to boost collaboration and spread the word about StandUp for Kids’ events to local churches. One of the most important parts is connecting StandUp for Kids with those who are in need of help, so that the youth are able to get connected to the resources they need more quickly. For Ian, everything hinges on that connection: “We can only move as fast as the relationship between groups goes, so it's important to find the right people who want to keep that relationship going. If you find the right leaders to foster that relationship, then teamwork flourishes.” And thanks to Ian and those like him at Trellis, the relationships between StandUp for Kids and others in Costa Mesa working to address the issue of homelessness are stronger than ever.

Looking to further their impact beyond the city of Costa Mesa, Trellis and Ian’s next steps are to create a plan for how to set up similar organizations in other cities in need. All it takes is a few cooks in the kitchen and something magical will result from that collaboration. You never know what special ingredients someone may bring to the table. And for anyone questioning why they should volunteer or get involved in their communities, or wondering if they can make a difference, Ian’s final words are clear: “The power of teamwork is worth every investment in it, because it yields greater results”. A big thank you to a great partner.

If you have any opportunities for StandUp for Kids to collaborate, please reach out to Justine (justines@standupforkids.org).

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