I have been accused of spending all my time looking ahead – at the journey ahead – and not enough time looking backward. So here goes.
The past several years at the ROC has been a time of tremendous, sometimes breathtaking, growth. We identified a need, based on input from the population we wanted to serve, and have built programs based on what we heard. Those in our communities must have been good teachers because we followed their guidance in developing our service model.
We focus on assisting with immediate basic human needs, then work with Participants to empower them to identify goals and what they need to do to meet those goals. Then we provide the tools and resources they need on their journey toward self-sufficiency. This process has resulted in gains in housing adequacy, emotional health and financial stability.
Children who had little hope of a better future, now are excited about the possibilities.
We celebrate all of this with you because without your support, NONE of this would have happened.
The current pandemic has exposed gaps and deficiencies in our current operation. First, our double-wide trailer that was inadequate to serve our population previous to the pandemic, has been exposed as a potential risk to staff and participants due to a lack of space for staff and resources.
Second, as with many others, we have learned that there are different ways of doing business in the face of overwhelming need. Remote counseling, for some, has been good, for others, not so good. Looking forward, we are developing a variety of approaches to meet the needs of our service community. We have found some innovative ways to reach our children that supplement our other programs. Our staff is excited about further innovations. We are looking forward with anticipation.
But, our capacity to innovate as we try to meet existing demands, is limited by financial resources. Saying “no” to a single mom escaping domestic violence is unconscionable, but necessary without more staff capacity.
So, looking ahead, we couldn’t have done what we have without the overwhelming support from you, our community. Likewise, we can only meet the needs that have been exposed with you at our side. We thank you for your partnership and look forward to continuing together as we embrace this next chapter on our journey.
Frank Cerny, PhD, MDiv
Sometimes ripples turn into tsunamis!