First Responders for the Soul
Mission: To provide a residential facility that
addresses and provides solutions in the area of Drug Abuse, Homelessness and
Under-Education by creating a “Delancey Street” type model. This model is
intended to be A
solution not THE solution.
The Model: The Delancey Street model has been working effectively over thirty years and has moved thousands from the “streets” to society. It started as a reentry program for people coming out of prison and now meets the needs of the homeless, the uneducated and the drug addicted as well. People come into the program for a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years. They are systematically shown how to be accountable to others and for others with the “each one, teach one” philosophy. Persons in the program are taught social skills, life skills, a proper work ethic, community service, and three marketable skills. They receive, at minimum, a GED, but are encouraged with opportunities to earn a higher degree of education.
Delancey Street residents do the
work on their living quarters themselves under the guidance of professional
builders. From this comes a sense of pride, self-esteem and ownership in
the project; creating an atmosphere of achievement and encouragement. The
residents are not paid for their work as they receive room and board for free
while in the program. Income for the program is generated from the
various Delancey Street businesses
that are built and maintained by the residents themselves. Currently,
there are Delancey Street moving
companies, Delancey Street
restaurants, Delancey Street café’s
and boutiques, and more. It is this entrepreneurial spirit and focus that
makes this model the best for our community.
The Premise of Seneca Community Chaplain Corps: If you invest in problems, you might win or you might lose. When you invest in people, you always win! Our purpose is to impact lives and create change for the better – for the individual, our community, our state and our nation. The Delancey Street model is strictly a secular model. It is our intention to provide Road to Hope as a bridge between the secular model and the spiritual community, as an added component. That is not to say that we are we building a church, for we are not! Rather, we will work with the faith-based community to address the whole person.
Community Collaborations: It is the intention of SC3 to promote partnerships within the community, including other agencies, organizations and government entities, so that we don’t reinvent the wheel by duplicating services. We draw on the community resources of local business owners, help from the College and University, Career Center programs, and the professional community to help with the training, educating, and equipping those in the program. It is our intention to help each individual to a place of independence, employability, and to become an overall productive member of our community, with help from the community.
We will ask local businesses to teach skills and train individuals in a trade as interns within their companies.
We will ask those in the higher education community to give of their time to teach seminars or classes to residents of the program.
We will partner with professionals and ask them to provide motivational speaking engagements with the residents.
We will collaborate with the Spiritual Community to provide for that component of residents’ needs, as well as utilize the Chaplains of the Corps for pastoral counseling, anger and stress management training, and the teaching of life skills.
The Needs Addressed Specific to our Community:
Drug Abuse: Statistics from the METRICH Drug Task Force confirm a prominent problem in this area of our county.
Education: A Significant number of people do not have a High School Diploma, GED, trade or higher education background for employability.
Alcohol Abuse: Our court system ranks #14 in the state for the number of Civil Protection Orders granted for Domestic Violence, and in a majority of the Domestic Violence cases, alcohol is a contributing factor. There is also an issue with underage consumption of alcohol in our county. Together with heroin addiction, we have the unfortunate distinction of a high-frequency of over-dose related deaths.
Homelessness: The Homeless Coalition has already identified the issues relating to homelessness in our county and has created a shelter program. Road to Hope addresses the issues on all of the above levels. Road to Hope will not house sexual offenders, or the mentally ill as determined by a psychiatric professional, as both of those populations require more management than we are equipped to provide in the way of treatment services, oversight and evaluations of progress.
The Clients: We house and help people from a broad spectrum of society; from individuals to families with the targeted needs stated above.
Referrals: We receive referrals from a variety of agencies, including: the courts, probation, and rehabilitation facilities, as well as agencies that contend with homelessness, law enforcement, concerned families and individuals, churches, and community leaders. We make referrals to various agencies as areas of resident need are identified.
Screening Process: The only criteria for denial to the
program is if the person has committed sexual offenses, or is a person with
mental illness that requires long term care and psychiatric supervision, such
as psychosis, which is beyond our scope and ability.
Rules: The Delancey Street model has only three rules: No Violence, No Threat of Violence and No Drug or Alcohol Use. Road to Hope has expanded the rules to provide additional structure to our program. Any infraction may result in dismissal from the program. A resident council will mediate all infractions and determine outcome.
What we have in place:
I. Community Support and Collaboration for the Project
A. Government Officials
B. Local Business Owners
C. Local Support Agencies
D. GED, Trades, and Higher Education Support personnel
E. Faith Based Community
F. Drug and Alcohol Program Directors
G. Law Enforcement, Probation, Parole Authority
H. Local Civic Clubs and Charities
A. Administration and Community Service Center
Retail Space –
The program has a goal of entrepreneurial endeavors as the persons go through the program. In teaching them three marketable skills, the intention is to have them run a business from the ground up. We have donated space in which to work and develop entrepreneurial endeavors in order to become self-sustaining through services or retail sales.
A. We are a 501(c)3 entity and able to provide tax deductions for donations.
B. Grant Funding
C. Community Support and Fundraising, locally
D. Retail Endeavors
E. Corporate Sponsorship
IV. Program and Project Planning/Implementation
A. Collaborate with local officials for identifying projects
B. We have a Board of Residents and Community Leaders
C. Architectural and Construction Support
D. Financial Oversight and Budgeting
E. Retail Management/ Educational Partnerships
What we still need:
I. Volunteers in the following areas
B. Victim Advocacy
C. Peer Support
E. Health Care
F. Group leaders
G. Community Service
H. Food Preparation
II. Material Needs such as:
C. Hygiene Items
D. Work boots
H. Office Staffing
I. Data Tracking Software
J. Power Point Projector
road to hope