Every year we put together a list of items we hope to accomplish. This has been particularly helpful with the fluidity of the past two years.Here is a list of the goals we set for 2022 and a brief summary of our progress.
Develop a plan for shelter and housing programs. What will our housing programs look like post covid-19?
We thought this plan would include a return to the rotational model by now but that has not occurred. The Board of Trustees continues to look at how our programs need to be adapted to respond to the current needs. Discussions about affordable housing, supportive permanent housing, or instituting a rapid rehousing model of housing have been ongoing.
The housing market is significantly different than just nine months ago. The biggest issue we face is the dramatic increase in rent, shortage of vouchers, lack of affordable housing units and high demand has meant that landlords are not giving higher risk tenants a second chance. This impacts both prevention and shelter clients. Even though it is a larger issue than one agency, we continue to ask how we can be a positive force in addressing housing issues.
Evaluate staffing levels and how to position ourselves for additional programming
Recently the Board of Trustees approved the addition of a third Case Manager. This position will be hired to work specifically with the Family Homelessness Prevention Program. We are on pace to serve 80 families. Callie is a part-time staff member. Managing an additional 40 families is too much- for a full time employee. We will continue to watch the requests for shelter and look for additional avenues for sheltering families that could also impact staffing levels in the future.
Restart the congregational model with a static site.
Earlier this year we were hopeful we had found a site that could host families. Our plan was to start a hybrid model of the rotational model. Families would stay in one site and the volunteers would rotate each week. Unfortunately significant safety improvements were required by the municipality to receive permission to use the site in that manner. Work on this goal continues.
Provide shelter to 20 families in 4 apartments
All four apartments are currently full. At this point we have helped 9 families and 3 single women. We are on pace to serve 24 households. Which will meet our goal and bring us back to pre-Covid levels of service. The amount of calls we are receiving has meant that if we had more apartments it is likely we could serve 35-40 families.
Provide rent/utility assistance to 75 unique families
At the end of May we served 36 households. We are on pace to serve 80 households. It is likely this number will grow when we add another case manager. Even though we are not quite comparing apples to apples, it took five years (2014-2019) for Family Promise of Waukesha County to provide shelter to 100 households. Between our shelter and prevention program it appears we will serve over 100 households in 2022.
Grow our volunteer base
This goal is directly connected to our program decisions. We will be able to put more focus on recruiting volunteers and organizations when we know exactly what we are asking them to do.
Hire a Program Coordinator
Welcome Maria! We are happy that Maria Mundt joined our staff on June 13.
Implement 3 “formation/workshops sessions” for client families- add an advocacy component to our programming.
This will be a task that Maria focuses on. We were hoping to offer a ten session financial literacy program but unfortunately we did not have enough interest to begin.
Grow relationships with other social service agencies and landlords.
Ziera’s new role is to reach out to landlords, agencies, and organizations to build these relationships.
Improve our use of data and statistics regarding the demographics of clients and the success of clients, but also volunteer hours and in-kind donations.
We continue to improve the manner in which we collect and input data.
Overall only a couple of these goals can be checked off. Perhaps it is because of the continued change that we are experiencing. Even though we are pleased with the Apartment Shelter Program and Prevention program as we emerge into a new world, we must continue to adjust and adapt. What drives our decisions is again how to provide opportunities for the community to become involved in being a part of the solution toward ending family homelessness.