You Are Project HOME
Usually I Am Project HOME is dedicated to a single Project HOME employee who displays what it means to embody the mission of Project HOME. During COVID-19, so many of our employees have gone above and beyond. That is why, in this special issue of our newsletter, we’re recognizing our mission, and how every single Project HOME staff member has continued to carry it out despite many obstacles. It is also why we’re calling it You Are Project HOME.
The mission of the Project HOME community is to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. COVID-19 made this very difficult. When you’re required to perform social distancing, it is impossible to offer a physical hand to those who need it the most. And yet, our staff did just that, virtually, to so many in our residences, in our medical centers, and across our city through outreach (see page 1, “COVID-19, How We Fought Back”) while keeping themselves and others safe and healthy.
To alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, our staff ensured that our residents and those they met on the streets were fed, that they had somewhere to call home, and they had a place to rest if they were ill and needed to be isolated.
We strive to create a safe and respectful environment where we support each other in our struggles for self-esteem, recovery, and the confidence to move toward self-actualization. So many in our community are in some type of recovery and trying to ensure that those needs are met during this time, seemed like an insurmountable task. Not for our Project HOME staff! They continue to create safe, supportive spaces to empower all in recovery to continue this important journey.
Project HOME achieves its mission through a continuum of services comprised of street outreach, a range of supportive housing, and comprehensive services. All our services had to be rethought to continue operating during this time. This demonstrated the flexibility, ingenuity, and willingness of our staff to continue in the face of what could be thought of as immovable obstacles (see page 4, “HOME Happenings”, for images of this work).
An integral part of our work is education about the realities of homelessness and poverty and vigorous advocacy on behalf of and with homeless and low-income persons for more just and humane public policies. When the need during a pandemic like this is so great, our staff fight harder and raise their voices louder for the needs of those we serve to ensure that they aren’t forgotten, and their needs are met.
Staff work hard every day at Project HOME during COVID-19 because of their strong spiritual conviction of the dignity of each person. Caseworkers, outreach workers, and medical staff continue to perform their jobs because they believe that all persons are entitled to decent, affordable housing and access to quality health care.
What has kept staff going through this time is the belief in the transformational power of building relationships and community as the ultimate answer to the degradation of homelessness and poverty.
All these beliefs and values continue to motivate the incredible staff of Project HOME each and every day. And they will carry out the important and much needed day-to-day work to bring everyone home safely.