WHAT WILL TOMORROW BRING?
If the Covid-19 era has taught us anything it should be that all plans are subject to change. With that in mind we do have a set of goals we hope to accomplish in 2022. Here is a summary of the areas we are addressing.
1. DEVELOP A STATIC SHELTER MODEL
The last time our congregational shelter was open was in March 2020. Returning to a model of shelter that engages volunteers is a priority. It is good for our guests and it is good for our volunteers. The strength of the Family Promise model is Community Involvement. Volunteers willing to listen, care and show compassion to those who are feeling worthless and discarded is invaluable. Plus this model breaks down the stereotypes associated with homelessness. Most of our congregations are not quite ready to host so we plan to begin using one static site and have volunteers from our faith communities rotate.
2. HIRE A PROGRAM COORDINATOR
We are in the process of hiring an individual to serve as our program coordinator. Jenna Spangler left Family Promise in December. We hope to have an announcement soon.
3. DEVELOP A HOUSING PROGRAM PLAN
The past two years we have been reactive. Our organization has definitely changed. We have added programs- adapted programs- moved to a new site. With all of that in mind, what will the future look like? The board started a strategic planning process this past October so soon we hope to be able to have a plan about shelter and housing services.
4. EVALUATE STAFFING LEVELS
As our programs continue to evolve we need to make sure that we have the staffing resources to deliver on these plans. We will look at questions such as how many cases are appropriate for a case manager? What sort of administrative support is needed? Will we need to invest more in marketing and fund development? The answers to these will help us know how to structure our staffing levels.
5. PROVIDE SHELTER TO 35 HOUSEHOLDS
Meeting this goal would be a significant increase. PreCovid we averaged 20 families a year. In 2021 we served 15 households. However we start the year with four apartments and plans for a static shelter site. Together we believe we can get near 35 households. This goal also includes serving single or un-partnered women.
Want to learn more about our goals for 2022? Join us for a Family Promise Forum.
6. PROVIDE PREVENTION ASSISTANCE to 75 FAMILIES
Another aggressive goal. To meet this goal it is likely we would need to add another case manager. In 2021 we assisted 47 unique families. Applications continue to come in and the need is definitely there.
7. GROW OUR VOLUNTEER BASE
There is definitely uncertainty around congregations providing volunteers. Will those who served two years ago return? Are they still engaged in their faith community? Even before Covid
we knew it was imperative to expand the number of volunteers able to help with the shelter program. We hope to add five faith communities and 5 businesses to our pool of volunteers.
8. IMPLEMENT FORMATION SEMINARS
Based on working with our clients, here are some ideas of topics that could be beneficial to our families improving life skills:
Basic care and maintenance of your car (to help prevent major car repairs)
Financial Literacy (including budgeting and saying no to that tempting payday loan)
Managing Stress and Trauma during a time of crisis.
We hope to provide three seminars to clients in prevention, shelter programs and program alumni.
9. GROW RELATIONSHIPS WITH LANDLORDS
Our clients need an agency who can advocate for them. Too often evictions and lack of affordable housing stands in the way of moving our families from shelter to independent housing. Strengthening relationships with landlords will allow us to advocate for the families we serve. We want landlords to trust us when we vouch for a family.
10. IMPROVE USE OF DATA
We want to better tell the story of those we serve and understand the help they need by collecting and analyzing data. We also want to improve the collection of data for volunteer hours and in-kind donations.