Listening to Needs Extends Dignity and Compassion

At our Men’s Campus, we hold regular open forums to hear about the needs of the men we serve. Not just the men in our residential programs, but also the men who come seeking emergency shelter. We are prioritizing listening and responding as we improve the way we serve. And that is a vital part of our ability to welcome all with kindness, compassion and dignity.

As we listened during our open forums, it quickly became clear that one of the needs of our emergency shelter guests was a place to securely charge their phones. Without stable housing, phones become a lifeline to services and support.

Today, individuals seeking emergency shelter can use one of the 220 phone-charging lockers available on campus to securely charge their phones. Another unanticipated need was met as the lockers also provide enough room to securely store small items such as prescription medications, important personal documents, wallets and other valuables. The implementation has resulted in a decrease in theft incidents and received positive feedback from users. These lockers extend dignity, compassion and safety to guests staying at the Mission.

We also heard that our men using emergency services wanted more access to employment assistance and computers. The Adult Education and Training staff have created on-site, walk-in hours to facilitate this need. They are now offering career development and job search assistance, as well as one-to-one tutoring on email, Windows, Word, typing, GED, preparing for the Naturalization test and more for emergency shelter guests.

All our residential programs include adult education and training classes, and we are thrilled to now provide quality adult education and computer access to emergency guests as well. As our guests and residents improve their job skills and further their education, their chances to gain and maintain meaningful employment increase. Because joblessness is a key contributor to homelessness, education is pivotal to disrupting cycles of homelessness.