Friday, February 28, 2014

Year in Review

Amazingly 2013 has come and gone. I continue to be in awe of how fast time goes. They say the older you get the faster it goes and this certainly seems to be true for me. I have been reviewing our fiscal year numbers as we work to finalize our annual report. The audit and tax returns are almost finished and soon FY 2013 will be officially complete.

What did FY and calendar year 2013 mean for Hope House? We celebrated 30 years of providing services in Eastern Jackson County. We realized that 2013 was similar to 2012, we saw more need and harder to secure resources. We served more people in shelter than 2012 and turned away more people than ever. We provided 2,300 more Bednights than the previous year and continue to have long waiting lists in our outreach programming. The need continues to be very high as people continue to be victimized by domestic violence. I long for the day that I am able to say it is no longer a problem in our society, we have it solved. But until then we will continue our work.

We continue to be very blessed to be part of a community that cares about the people that we work with. I am uplifted when I see children coming in with their parents to make donations and groups coming together with new and unique ways of raising funds and collecting needed items from our wish lists. We continue to work to identify new funding sources to help us meet the growing need and fund the vital services we are providing.

We want to do so much more than we are but we are doing a lot now and I want to celebrate that and recognize that even though there is always more that can be done. We continue to provide emergency shelter services for over 1,100 women and children; we work with thousands in our outreach programming and continue our valuable partnerships with law enforcement, courts and medical personnel. Thanks to the Jackson County Mental Health Levy fund we were able to train all of our staff to be Trauma Informed and now we are working to secure funding to take that training to the next level in order to provide trauma informed services. Our Diversity Committee continues to work hard to ensure we are providing the best service to our clients and that everyone we serve feels welcomed and accepted.

Our goals for this year include evaluating our current level of service and identifying areas of need, and working to address those needs through program changes or potentially providing additional services. We will examine each program, look at what we currently provide, and determine if that is still what we need or do we need to adapt to new presenting issues. This is critical to do on an annual basis to ensure that we are best meeting the needs of our clients. We may not be able to make a lot of changes due to funding restrictions or lack of available staff, but then we prioritize our needs and make changes more slowly, always striving to do the best we can with what we have.

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