By Valorie Crout, Chief Program Officer for Associated Ministries
What a hopeful time to be working within the service community in Pierce County!
Together, we are steadily working towards “right sizing” the homeless system. What does that mean? Ultimately it means individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness will be housed and get resources and services they need to thrive. The end goal for the providers in Pierce County is to make homelessness rare, one-time and short-term.
By working together collectively, we are not only recognizing barriers that prevent households from effectively using the homeless prevention system, we are working together to eliminate those barriers. The partnerships we’ve formed with synergy around ending homelessness have been a ray of hope. As the Chief Program Officer for Associated Ministries, I am truly thankful to be a part of this process, even in just a small way.
Associated Ministries offers to be a stronger partner organization while still providing services that are centered on the people we serve. Coming up with new and innovative solutions is exciting, filled both with joyful moments as well as challenging ones. We expect to give our best in creativity and adaptive leadership. No matter the challenge, we are committed to take them on with what I like to call the “old school” approach–by working together! We are recommitting ourselves to strengthening strong relationships with our peers to help remind us of what is possible.
As we begin this new year, Associated Ministries will work to better educate the community about homelessness in Pierce County. There is a lot we have learned since 2011 when we first created AP4H, Pierce County’s Centralized Intake Center for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. We are committed to sharing the voice of those who are unable to be heard.
We will continue to share important data that shows the face of homelessness in Pierce County. We will clearly show how homelessness impacts not just the individual or family sleeping in the car or on the streets but all of us in the community.
The effects of homelessness upon a mother or father sleeping on the streets with a child are obviously quite different than for a single person who has never experienced homelessness. We cannot even imagine the heartache that a parent goes through to find a safe place for his or her child to sleep at night. To enable long-term and systemic change, we need to understand the responsibility (and power) we hold as community members to end homelessness.
By working together, we can end homelessness in Pierce County!
You can follow along or, better yet, be part of our journey to end homelessness. For current information about homelessness in Pierce County, please visit our website at www.associatedministries.org.
Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 253-383-3056 ext. 108. You can also contact Tammy Boros, AP4H Director, via email at email@example.com or by phone at 253-383-3056 ext. 145.