Maria Mundt, Program Coordinator shares her insights about the Family Promise Morristown Symposium.
Attending the National Symposium was an extraordinary experience. We were able to meet and connect with so many other affiliates and learn how everyone is trying to navigate these challenging times. Before the pandemic every affiliate used the rotational model but currently there are many different models of shelter. Affiliates are utilizing hotels, motels, apartments, static sites and more. What impressed me was that every single person I met had the same drive and passion for serving families experiencing homelessness as we do.
Some of the most interesting topics we learned about were affordable housing, the importance of forming professional relationships, vicarious trauma and volunteerism. Those are just a few of the many workshops and panels we attended. It was very interesting to learn that we are not the only county struggling to find affordable housing for our families. Many others are experiencing an increase in rent and prices simply too high for families to afford.
A big part of my role here at Family Promise of Waukesha County is incorporating and engaging volunteers. I was able to hear how other affiliates are doing just that and hope to bring some of those ideas to life here in Waukesha. Ever since we stopped the rotational model there has been that lack of interaction between volunteers and guests, which was a crucial part of the previous model. My goal is to be able to provide both the volunteers and the families the much needed interaction and involvement through new events and activities. Stay tuned on new ways to get involved either through your congregation or on your own!