Teachers, Advocates, and Navigators
We believe that the health of a community can be measured for how each of its members cares for each other. Our Support Services Program launched in January 2015 in response to the many challenges our community members face in Old Town/Chinatown.
Every week, our Visitation volunteers meet with members in their homes, to provide companionship and a listening ear. For many members this is enough, but for some, they are in need of extra support.
In the past few years, volunteers found several cases where the member needed help and had barriers to accessing services in the areas of health care, finance, housing, and safety. However, the volunteers were limited in their knowledge and experience in how to truly help the member.
In response, we developed the Support Services Program. This program fosters new skills and helps members practice problem solving, advocate for themselves when possible, maintain housing, and address other important issues that could threaten their stability. The program builds upon the strengths of each individual, supporting each person’s sense of identity, self-esteem, and dignity.
There has been a strong response to the program with the number of visits growing each month as members return with multiple needs. In its first year, the program served 183 members who made up more than 1,800 visits with our support services staff. This demonstrates the high-need of assistance by those facing multiple challenges and barriers in their lives.