RISE built relationships with our community by listening and advocating for people. They believe people and walk with them on their journey. Instead of prescribing a plan, they ask what someone needs, and if they have it to give, they give it. The things that make the difference are often small, little goals that bring hope and save people time. Private donations equip our teams to provide direct aid and bring people back into our community.
Safety is Our Top Priority
Living Room is a privately funded housing voucher program for people who are not qualified for anything else. From families that needed deposit assistance, to people looking for dignity at the end of their life, this program is designed to meet unique and unmet needs. In its first few years, $76,000 were spent on hotel vouchers with extra care taken in the Winter months to identify those in the most danger.
The first way that you can support this program is by donating survival items. Sharing sleeping bags and socks is how we meet immediate needs and build relationships to encourage people to seek additional resources.
The second way you can be involved is by becoming a housing support volunteer. After some training, you will be paired with two other people to support one person who is using a Living Room housing voucher. We have learned that it takes three people about three months to help someone improve their living situation and achieve greater life stability. This support can be all on group text messages or include helping with transportation depending on your ability to communicate challenges, support goals, and mentor.
The third way that you can increase this program is by hosting a person or family. Motels are often full and are not the best option for someone working to change their life. Churches, connected apartment units, and other appropriate sleeping quarters end the tyranny of the moment – empowering people and families to work on long-term plans. Our family housing has a long waiting list and we anticipate the women’s waiting list to grow as the winter months bring freezing temperatures. Families and women who need the least amount of case management can bypass the shelter entirely as we grow our faith-based and community-group hosting sites. Hosts may contact the RISE team and County case managers for support and to ensure the match is beneficial.
The fourth way that you can equip this program is by donating funds. We do what we can to keep costs low but housing is the most impactful way that we can change the course of someone’s life. This support gives hope that motivates people to achieve their goals.
Safety is a core value of the organization. By earning trust, people think of RISE as a resource when someone is in trouble. Winter is especially dangerous for those living in places not intended for human habitation. Frostbite and hypothermia take lives and limbs every year. These tragedies are unnecessary and a reflection of our inadequate regional housing options. Safety planning entails skilled, respectful communication and the ability to deploy emergency response teams from every sector of our community.