Annual Appeal 2014

November 2014

Dear Friends,

             And we at the Shelter truly mean that—you are in fact our friends!  Maybe we are therefore a “friend-ship”—together on a mission of bringing safety, dignity, and support for many people who find themselves apart from the rest of us, pretty much hurting and feeling alone.  Please do not doubt how much we know we need you and thank you for your gifts!

             Let me take a few more moments of your time to celebrate Shelter staff.  There are people like Jim and Jon, overnight veterans of up to 19 years of service, watching over our guests at night and heading off crises at the door.  Day and evening shelter aides like Mary, Nickie and Amie, pretty much constantly juggling and keeping a dozen or so balls in the air while answering the phone politely, fielding a ton of questions from guests and Day Program visitors and working to keep a smile on their face.  And Rowena, the Shelter’s Program Manager, now entering year five (where does the time go?!) ably supported by the young but capable Christina.  Please imagine the tasks constantly in front of them that include difficult client decisions, triaging referrals and demands, keeping up with a range of mandatory reporting requirements, staying on top of human resources policies and changes in employment law, maintaining our social media presence, and recruiting, training, supporting and scheduling the Shelter’s volunteer corps.  And those volunteers, while requiring significant investments of training and support, are priceless in what they bring.  From the volunteer Board of Directors looking at the big picture while staying grounded in the day to day reality and offering collective wisdom to community relations and development activities and essential organizational components like legal compliance and the aforementioned employment law arena, to the scores of “worker level” volunteers who prepare and serve meals, clean and paint rooms and hallways, offer specialized services like pest control (thanks, Bob!!), facilitate AA meetings and conduct food drives—sorry for the long sentence but these folks form an incredible team and allow us to provide what we do!  And I haven’t even mentioned all the community partners…

             Who is helped through your support of this Shelter?  Men and women, suffering with chronic mental illness and/or addictions, who have been getting more marginalized and more ill for years.  Angry young adults, their childhoods painful at best and at a loss about how to be a member of our communities.  Women fleeing abuse, other folks who simply made bad decisions without having a backup plan and are now needing to figure things out and start over, and some of our veterans.  Seniors, and this can really mean people as young as their late 40’s, hobbled by a number of chronic illnesses and the consequences of structural injuries and/or head trauma, stumbling around in poverty within a society that does not offer easily accessible support.  These sentences do not begin to cover all the ground or all the people who present at our doors.

             So of course this brings me to asking for more of your financial support.  We continue to rely on private funding in lieu of the costs not covered by government, still needing to reach almost one-half of our annual operating budget—a forecast need of $300,000 this year.  And all I can really offer you is that we will continue to be honest and frugal, and that we all thank you, from the heart.  Know that your actions do in fact directly reach some of the most fragile among us.  Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Dennis Marble, Executive Director