I am concerned with the volume of homelessness that Is going on In our community. I have seen more and more people on the streets because of the loss In the economy.
It has gotten worse over the past five years. I heard of the new project Love Philly and I have decided to inform you of a local soup kitchen that has been part of our community for the past 25 years. A friend of mine you may know Mr.. Charley Weathers has ran and operated the local soup kitchen In Saints We Trust since it opened in 1984. I have the honor of being asked to take over running the Soup
Kitchen and am asking for funding to help continue and improve what we provide at the facility.
As for my background I worked as a Case Manager while I was in college in Pompano Beach Florida and learned quite a bit of information from my previous supervisors In that position. I worked as a Van Driver for this shelter and also as a Case manager for 10 years following. While working as a Case Manager I worked with local shelters and Soup Kitchens on dally basis dealing for my clients. I also learned quite a bit from working hands on at the day shelter In Pompano.
Recently I have en volunteering at In Saints We Trust here in Philadelphia and it has turned into five years now.
I have been working under Mr.. Weathers and I have been asked to run the Kitchen alongside the current Assistant Manager Donald Keating because Mr.. Weathers will be retiring within the next year. In preparation for my takeover I would like to obtain grants and funding for the furthering of our efforts.
To prepare I wanted to do research to get opinions on tried methods to improving other Soup Kitchens/Shelters throughout the U. S. And Canada.
This Is how I found out about your Project Love Philly as well as by word of mouth. As for In Saints We Trust our plan Is to continue the kitchen and integrate an overnight shelter on the same property as the kitchen.
The timing of this project will depend upon funding we receive. There Is an excellent building sufficient In size for the shelter on the property and I have begun working with contractors to determine if it is safe and coincides with building zone codes for Philadelphia. I also am working with local businesses to determine pricing for furnishing the inside of the potential shelter.
I would like to have paid workers as well to keep the backbone of the company running with the help of unpaid volunteers. I do believe we have potential for a long and bright future ahead of us. I feel we will be able to help a lot of Philadelphia or other travelers along the way.
I ask for your help in this matter and to possibly receive long-term funding from your program. Contributors will be welcome to a supervised visit of the Kitchen Mondays and Wednesdays between 1 and 3 pm. Mr.. Weathers and I will be available for visits and to answer any questions contributors may have. Feel free to contact me at my office regarding this matter.
I have performed research for different homeless programs and in the city such as New York and others. The problems in NYC may be somewhat intensified because of more traffic of people and the fact that the city never sleeps but the problems are still the similar in Philadelphia. Introduction There is a great challenge and need to feed the homeless citizens of Philadelphia. This need is on a continuous basis. Hunger does not go away without sustenance. Homeless individuals also need other services so they can start to reform their life and around a supportive network which they can depend on weekly.
The challenge of being homeless is that from the time you are kicked out of where you call home and the next night you may face many obstacles. People cannot charge their cell phones or continue to give themselves care like bathing and using the restroom. For example many restrooms in New York City charge for you to use it or you must be a paying customer and this is strictly enforced. In Philadelphia it is not as strictly enforced as in New York City but it still can be a problem for someone to get to the restroom as soon as they wake up.
It is not like they can go into the other room as the rest of us with homes can. They must instead go find a restroom with their belongings and look and seem as if they didn’t Just wake up off the streets.
As you can imagine this may be a little difficult. After a few days of sleeping outside one’s clothes begin to look like they haven’t been washed and they may start to smell. This may be sooner if it’s summer. If someone is staying out on the bushes they will have problems with getting bitten by bugs and have skin rashes from not being able to take their clothes off at night to let their skin breathe.
If it is winter you have the issue of trying to make it through the night without freezing and worse if it begins to rain or snow. Current Research and Words from the Homeless Many homeless say they do not trust Outreach workers that are getting paid because the workers are motivated by their paychecks and not to actually help the homeless people.
So I would like to have volunteers with my crew so I don’t have to worry about the homeless not trusting us. I want the volunteers to say to the homeless people that they are volunteers if they are questioned.
It helps if the some of the outreach workers have been homeless themselves. I would like to have a nice mix of people on the Team. I found the same opinion when I read a Journal article from the Community Mental Health Journal. It stated.
In describing the type of volunteers I would like to find. We are open to anyone who wants to volunteer but it really helps when I get a certain type of volunteer. These are the retirees. Many who have worked in the community for over 20 to 25 years or more and were in marketing or campaign funding for their former employers.
They may be able to call them and get Homeless Numbers May-July Philadelphia NW s 250 127 55 277 125 76 285 40 Gag-Cot Novo-Jan Feb.
-April 270 89 36 suburbs 35 40 27 35 Totals 467 518 452 430 From our research it seems the homeless numbers go down in the spring and mummer because people travel more and are harder to find. They don’t need a physical building like in the cold months. In the coldest of winter months they travel to New Jersey and New York because the subways and buses are 2417 operational. The police will not allow people to stay inside of subways overnight in Philadelphia.
Previous and Current Requirements Many companies require that people be homeless for at least a year before they can receive services.
Participants housed in independent housing at 6-months had greater improvements in community integration and quality of life, and greater deduction in mental illness symptoms, compared to those not independently housed. The quality of the working alliance was positively associated with improvements in physical and psychological community integration and quality of life. There are a lot of different opinions and research that has been done on homelessness.
The fact is there are so many types of homeless situations. As you can imagine there are how many people on the planet with different lives and situations.
Plus add income status, socio-economic status, or the chance that someone may have had chemically dependent parents, alcoholic parents, or abusive parents and many others. There are many ways that may or may not work to move forward with helping homeless people. Each city is different as well. In the largest of American cities New York City, there are certain rules.
I read a research paper that stated the government programs they applied for required individuals to homeless for at least one year.
Some also require the homeless to be on a waiting list for shelter in order to move forward with getting simple help. I found the best way to get food right away in New York City is by going to soup kitchens or local Food Pantries. Some are churches and others non-religious organizations. I visited food pantries in New York City last year. The majority of the Food Pantries that are non-religious give food strictly once every two weeks without a smile.
While the religious organizations seem to hand food more often like once a week and are more kind and empathetic. Each organization requires the individual to have a state id but it doesn’t necessarily have to be from This also seemed to be the best way for the homeless to plan their days because they can save their food in a space and not have to drag their belonging to a soup kitchen two times a day. Also many soup kitchens give hot meals twice a week and maybe only lunch or dinner. No one soup kitchen gave two meals a day. It is very rare to find a soup kitchen that gives even more than one meal a day.
Most homeless have to hide their belongings in bushes in parks and hope no one takes it while they are gone to various soup kitchens in the city.
There are also a lot of different temperaments of the people inside the soup kitchen so the last thing someone wants is to have to drag their belongings and possibly knock over their own food or someone else’s tray. This may sound like something you worry about in high school but it is reality for people on the streets. Current and Future Situations Most homeless people end up sleeping on park benches or in parks.
New York City has over 100,000 homeless at any given time. The shelters are usually full and especially in the winter. In NYC many homeless sleep in the subways especially in the winter.
As a former worker with homeless people I do have a heart to work with these individuals. This is why I was working with them in the beginning of my career as a college student. I want to see these individuals have more of a chance at getting independence back into their lives. I also want to do this without causing more disturbances in their lives than they already have had.
I also don’t want to take them out of whatever comfort zone they have going for themselves. Meaning I want to pry into their personal business the least amount as possible.
Many programs require individuals to have to be homeless for a year or other amounts of time to get services. They also require someone to stop being a drug or alcohol addict. No one should have to go through this to get immediate services such as food or to get on a waiting list for shelter. Some drug addicts have been in their situation for over 10 years. In the meantime they still need food and water and especially shelter in the inter.
There are homeless that are not addicts and may be homeless for the first time. These individuals are the easiest to help but they need help as soon as possible to avoid pit falling into other problems like drugs or getting their personal belongings stolen. When I worked for the Homeless Day Shelter in college my boss said the main problems people have when they come in is that they have lost their ID or someone stole it. You cannot get a Job or even apply for basic services without a state ID. Your social security card is important too and a requirement to receive Food Stamps or Medicare.
When you don’t have a safe place to stay at night and you are out of the elements your health goes down very fast along with your mental and emotional state. Ideas for Improving Current Situations I have an idea for carrying their belongings. I stayed in various hostels in the U. S. They had lockers in their dorms areas.
I would like to provide lockers with my Soup Kitchen as well. They will not be free, but it is a great option. There are keys inside each locker. When you put in change 75 cents for example you then turn the key and it opens.
You can put in whatever you want for safekeeping. Then you only have to safeguard the key.
If someone has something very important they don’t want to get stolen like ID’s money, or they have a purse or side bag and they don’t want to carry it through the line they can. Plus it can be a great place to store something you don’t uncomfortable when wet like underwear and socks. And some people are like farmers of people when it comes to stealing. The best part is the person doesn’t have to take their stuff out right away because that would be a waste of money.
Instead they can come back another day and take it out. I found while working with the homeless that if you give them a sensible solution and that helps them they aspect it and really appreciate it.
Allowing them to think for themselves in some way helps and therefore is important. Plus I would much rather replace a key than to watch someone suffer because they had their license stolen or something else like a family heirloom. Emotional State After Obtaining Housing As part of my research I read an article about getting people housing in Canada.
Apparently the Social workers were able to get some individuals into individual or shared apartments. It is something like section 8 here in America.
Once the individuals got into the apartments they had problems with social isolation. They were used to having their friends surrounding them on the streets. This new environment and isolation caused an increase in alcohol consumption or drug use for some participants. Service providers noted that some participants seemed to react to their isolation by “bringing the streets into their homes” to replicate the activity they were used to.
These are some words from participants. “When I was living in a shelter I always had people to talk to, so I didn’t really drink when I was in the shelter.
” Mimi know, if you go from being in a shelter to going… It’s a big change you know?…
Just won’t have anyone to talk to, I won’t have anyone to help me you know, like if I need help doing something or I want to talk to somebody, or I Just want to hang out with somebody, I’m going to have to leave my house and go somewhere… ‘ Just don’t want to fall back into a depression because of that. (Housing First Exploring Participants Early Support Needs April 13, 2014) Participants also need help with Life skills.
Some individuals have been homeless for so long that any good habits they had have been forgotten. Maybe they once knew about keeping an apartment neat and tidy or about keeping their home straight and hey have forgotten those skills from staying over time. Some people have been homeless for over 5 or 6 years for example. I found from talking to homeless that you remember what you need to use only.
You forget the rest. One participant stated.
“On the street you knew where to get the food, and now you’re in the west end, like you, you would find somebody in their unit sitting going “What the hell am I doing? “…. You have to show them where the garbage is..
. There’s a lot of stuff they had to be taught. ” (Housing First Exploring Participants Early Support Needs April 13, 2014) Conclusion As stated above there is a great need for Homeless Services and Outreach here in Philadelphia.
Staying on the streets can be challenging and even life threatening at times. Many Philadelphia will not make it through a winter or summer without volunteer myself and my staff for the mission. Reference Page Goodwin A, Comp’s P, Stegosauruses V Housing First Exploring Participants Early Support Needs BMW Health Services Research April 13, 2014 Volvo.
14:167 Dietrich M, Irving C, Park B, Marshall M Intensive case Management for Severe Mental Illness Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Cot 6, 2010 CD007906. Pub