From the Director
This past year has brought many changes to the Council family and programs. A third very successful Project Homeless Connect occurred in October. It seems like we get more participation, and more participants, every year. As has been our plan, the Safe House for Women will be the lead agency for this year’s event. Council staff are excited about being able to participate as service providers for the first time.
With the help of an outside grant writer, and the creativity of our own case management staff, the Council is very fortunate to have received three grants from the Missouri Housing Development Commission for Rental Assistance, Housing First Program, and Operations funding. Rental assistance is just that – helping folks with their rent payments if they meet income and other qualifications. Housing First is aimed at homeless prevention and will provide shelter only. Case managers will work with these families to assess the individual needs. Operations funding is only available for salaries, which frees up Council resources to enhance additional services.
For the first time in many years, we have experienced staff changes. Roy Jones retired as Housing Coordinator in February. Natalie Sandoval left to join the faculty in the Department of Social Work at Southeast Missouri State University. We will continue to be involved with Natalie since she will be managing the field practicum placements for seniors, and we always benefit from having a great experience with these students.
Oral Health Medicaid for Adults has been a topic of many discussion with the legislators this year. We encourage everyone to support these ideas as they move through the process.
We are looking for a greatly increased number of folks coming to us for assistance in the next several months. We are trying some adjustments to our staffing patterns to see if we can manage the increased numbers and be successful in meeting folks’ needs.
We are truly dedicated to improving our community and providing for those who need assistance. It is always a pleasure for me to witness the level of empathy our staff show to people who seek out our help. It is a great crew to work with.