It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the mission of The Road Home as Board President for the past year. Engaging in this work with other Board members and the amazing team of employees that provide unfailing care and compassion to people in the midst of what is often the darkest and most challenging season of their lives brings to mind a quote from John Ruskin: “The highest reward for a man’s (or women’s) toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” Serving the noble mission of helping people to step out of homelessness has an ennobling effect on all of us, and upon all in the larger community who also support this mission with their time, good will, and resources.
This past year, we completed the construction in Midvale of a new shelter. I will never forget the wonderful feelings I felt in walking through the new facility with Matt Minkevitch on the final day of construction, just before it opened to serve our families on Thanksgiving Day. The poet, William Butler Yeats once said, “In dreams begins responsibility.” As the Legislature passed a new measure enabling the shelter to expand from six months of operation to year round, new responsibilities and funding pressures came, and we are continuing our work to meet those challenges.
During the year, we have also laid the groundwork to better communicate the full scope of our mission, particularly with regard to permanent housing. We are proud that we provide a safe place for those with nowhere else to go at our two shelters. In accordance with our motto, “From Help to Hope to Home,” 81% of our clients in shelter receive case management services to help them move to permanent housing. On any given night, we have 1,700 clients in permanent housing and 1,100 in our shelters. Looking ahead, our vision is to expand the options, including working with government and the larger community, to get more people into permanent housing.
This past year has been like no other in the level of community interest in homelessness, with new stakeholders coming to the table, and incredible leadership at the State, County, and City level. This is hard work, but worthy work. Shifting our service delivery and resource investment to help prevent homelessness whenever possible, ending people’s homelessness more quickly, and progressing in leaps and bounds to a whole new level of growth in permanent housing options—these are goals that merit all the effort that we can devote to reaching them.
Thank you for your support in this mission, and this vision for a better future.
Joseph Horton - FY16 Board President