Support Services Staff meets with Member

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.

Be a Support for our Members

Every day, our members visit our staff to get help in navigating the complex health, housing, and financial systems. Our support services team are experts in helping our members access the often confusing array of community services available. Donate today towards this program, to show our members that you believe the in the power of advocacy!

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Building Relationships

Our visitation volunteers play a huge role in connecting the members they visit with our Support Services team so that our members can get the help they need to address important issues.

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Connecting Members to the Services they Need

When people are suffering from mental health issues, chronic health problems or severe social isolation, the prospect of accessing their basic needs, or asking for help, can seem almost impossible.

When our members express particular goals or requests for assistance with challenges they may face, our volunteers share those goals or requests with our Support Services team who are experts in the resources available in our community.

From understanding complex housing applications, to simply making a medical appointment, many of our members are in need of an advocate, someone who can guide them through the complex housing and healthcare systems. And while it is important to assist these members in their quest for improved health, it is imperative to create a program where people are also taught the skills to eventually do for themselves. It is not enough to just “do” for our members, we need to help them do for themselves.

Support Services Staff with Member
Assist with medical needs:
626
interactions in 2015
Assist with housing:
262
interactions in 2015
Assist with financial needs:
349
interactions in 2015
Assist with safety concerns:
88
interactions in 2015

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