Every day in Emergency Services, our frontline staff is hard at work. They show up 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to minister and build relationships with individuals who are experiencing the most difficult times of their lives. Their days are full of listening, talking, directing, organizing, and finding solutions for our homeless neighbors. Lynette’s story in this edition of Changing Lives is a glimpse into the multiple talents and skills our frontline staff utilize each day.
We believe shelters should not be a long-term solution for anyone. However, just like all of us, there are times when we need someone to encourage us and help walk us through the hard seasons of life. That is the purpose of our shelters, along with providing emergency services such as meals, showers and beds.
At our shelter facilities, individuals who are new to our services are greeted by Guest Services team members like Lynette. This team is the first group of faces that guests who are new to homelessness interact with. During this initial conversation, they find out information that helps us connect them to services and offer solutions. Some of our guests are connected to a Peer Navigator, a staff member who has lived experience with homelessness. For others, it is assigning them to a bed at one of our 24/7 shelters at 48th Avenue Center or Lawrence Street Shelter, where they are paired with a case manager to work through long-term housing solutions. At all of our locations, they will connect with our Emergency Services Coordinators, who are on site every hour of the day to build relationships, help them manage day-to-day challenges and be a friendly ear when they need someone to listen. When our guests are in a crisis, we now have dedicated chaplains to minister to them as well.
This year, as Mission facilities have grown and expanded, our staff has adjusted. I am humbled to work alongside them and to be working as their Vice President. I am looking forward to this coming year as we continue to refine and settle into our new rhythms. I am blessed to have a staff that loves the Lord and shares that love with those we serve. And I am always grateful for you, our dedicated donors, who are standing beside us in prayer and support. We could not stand without you.
Tracy Brooks was recently promoted to Vice President of Emergency Services and now serves on the Mission’s Senior Leadership Team. She has been a vital part of our Mission family since 2016 and is leading the charge for our new 24/7 sheltering model.
This post is part of August’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, you’ll learn about Lynette, a member of our frontline staff, and how your gifts enable her team to change lives every day.