Did you know that our Montessori Preschool here at the Center for the Homeless is the only one of its kind in the country? Since our partnership began in 1994, we have been honored to work with students, parents and staff at the Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes towards breaking the cycle of homelessness. The program enables our youngest guests to receive the type of education they need and deserve.
Over the last few months I've watched the Fall Frolic Committee, specifically co-chairs Kiernan Cressy-Anzelc and Donna Voor, put in hours after hours of tireless work to ensure that this years’ Fall Frolic is a success. Their commitment and dedication to this program is remarkable.
Come out and support this worthy cause this Saturday, September 29th. You can register and find more information online at cfh.net.
Don't forget to save the date for next year's event- October 18th, 2008!
It is difficult to introduce one's self and yet, having someone else introduce you is in no way an easy task either. Who am I? I am Sanya Applegate- foremost I am a mother. Professionally you can find me writing grants, analyzing social data or glued to my computer. I have been touring with the social service scene since 1996 where I found my first job at Safe Station as a youth counselor for runaway, throwaway and at-risk kids. From there I moved to Project Homecoming, a satellite office of Indiana Health Centers serving indigent individuals and families.
In 2006, I took some time off to have a baby and began working at the YWCA of St. Joseph County that June. At the YWCA, my career took off and my commitment to those living on the margins was absolutely solidified. I researched and studied the effects of homelessness on women and children and the correlation between domestic violence and homelessness. I became a staunch advocate for women's issues and vocalized my platform whenever the opportunity arouse.
Today, I proudly work for the Center for the Homeless- an agency I believe is paradigm for understanding poverty and homelessness in St. Joseph County- where I am responsible for providing detailed knowledge about how my platform concerns are impacted by funding trends and research nationally.
As I said earlier, I am above all a mother and to be a good mother, I need to be a good person. To that end, I have learned that I must understand and root myself in the experiences of those individuals with experiences far greater than mine. I look forward to this understanding of the guests at the Center for the Homeless.
This marks the beginning of a very exciting time here at the Center. In a meeting earlier this week, our Board of Directors formally approved the strategic plan we've been working on since early this year. Now that we've received the green light, we're thrilled to begin taking what's on paper and putting it into action.
As a sneak preview of what's to come, let me explain the central concept of our plan. For coming up on 20 years, our agency has been going about the challenging work of breaking the cycle of homelessness. Our award-winning continuum of care model has done wonders for our guests. And now as we see the face of homelessness changing, we believe we need to shift our programs and services to meet new needs. What we aim to do is customize our continuum so that each and every man, woman, and child who comes through our doors receives practical skills and services quickly and efficiently. The intake process will be streamlined and access to our core courses will be broadened. More of our staff will become involved in teaching classes and working with our guests.
Along with these program changes, we hope to revitalize our volunteer involvement, do more community education, and create more positive buzz about the great work that goes on in our building.
We hope to see your face soon here at the Center. The future is bright for our organization and our guests.
I would like to introduce myself as the new Marketing and Events Coordinator at the Center for the Homeless. I graduated in May from Indiana University in Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs.
I was raised in South Bend in a family where "giving back" was expected. It was not thought of as a duty, but considered a joy to see the difference one person was able to make in a community by getting involved. Starting at a very young age, I was fortunate enough to have numerous opportunities to help less fortunate individuals in the community. One of my first memories of a Christmas tradition as a young child was emptying the large family piggy bank and counting the money that had been collected over the year. My parents then had my siblings and I choose organizations in the community to donate the money to. I will never forget as a very young child walking in the front door of the Center for the Homeless and personally handing over large ziplock bags of change year after year. As I matured I became increasingly aware of the joy and benefits that come from helping others.
In addition to many volunteer experiences with various charitable organizations over the last few years, last summer I had the benefit of a unique opportunity as a development intern at LOGAN Community Resources, Inc. in South Bend, Indiana. The opportunity allowed me to gain valuable hands on experience in the development and marketing departments of a major nonprofit organization.
I have known for many years that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector for an organization with a very important public service mission. I am very excited to be joining the staff here at the Center in the effort to give the Center's guests the hope and tools needed to break the cycle of homelessness. I look forward to working with members of the community to bring a positive change to the lives of the Center's guests and to our community.