A program that started out using HPRP funding (from the feds [HUD et al] which has since gone by the wayside under that terminology) is still running. It started with a deep partnership with their local Interfaith Works (they have a Facebook page & website – links in the linked to article below) effort in WA state, Olympia to be precise!
Read this story for the background on how it started & see how it continues even when those funds are not available!
We’ll share more about these folks as we learn more but suffice it to say, a volunteer based program makes a huge difference to the people being served & when a “mentoring” one-on-one connection gets established then Katy-bar-the-Door (a Southern term…) results are possible!
At SideWalk, the Team welcomes their clients with open arms. They embrace them. They feed them. They work with them. And they love them!
While there, I spoke with one of the volunteer advocates, a very sweet woman named Julia Moore. She told me she was working with a young lady once who was extremely distrustful of social service agencies. “I began working with her and I asked her to fill out some paperwork and she just blew up. I sat there and just listened to her. It dawned on me that she had lumped me in with a lot of the paid helpers who were a part of other agencies. And so I said, ‘Did you know that I am a volunteer?’ And that just stopped her. She put the brakes on. She realized then that I was truly there to help. She is now in housing and has benefited from it. And that is why I love doing this. I love being able to see that I am not wasting time, that I am doing this and it is having a real impact upon real people’s lives.”