Day to Day Operations
Many people have asked what a day and a typical week looks like for Empowering Change Outreach and Services. While our day to day operations may differ due to the emergency needs of those we are servicing we try to adhere to a structured week which would allow us to set an agenda and minister to those who desperately need help in these most difficult days.
A lot of work takes place behind the scenes. Generally on Monday's we sift through the massive amounts of messages we receive from people needing some form of assistance or another, we then evaluate those needs to make sure that we are able to meet those needs and are good stewards of our resources. We intake those that we are helping by assessing what needs and services they may or may not be utilizing, W.I.C., Missouri SNAP/ Food Stamp Program, Housing Services etc. Then as we schedule a time to serve them we also provide assistance in helping them to fill out forms for services through other organizations. This is primarily done for families that we deal with. Then we start to address the week's needs for those displaced on the streets.
Care Packages and Food Boxes
Tuesday is a busy morning for us! Most of us start working around 5AM. As for me, my day starts with reading a devotional to help move my mind in a positive direction. Then for those involved in helping assemble the care packages we put together for those displaced on the streets, items such as a comb, wash cloth, non perishable food, water bottle, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, etc. Then we have others putting together food boxes addressing families that are struggling, Rice, Canned Vegetables, Meat products, Toiletries, etc...with each person that we meet and outreach we are constantly assessing needs on how to better serve them and help them move toward self reliance and refer them to additional resources through other social programs in hopes of getting them into shelter and off the streets or to get the assistance they need for continued food, utility help and other much needed services.
Wednesday & Thursday
Hitting the streets
When time allows we deliver food boxes daily and care packages. However, Wednesday is our "Scheduled" day for hitting the streets and administering care packages to those in need and for those who are not on the streets we have people that deliver food boxes to families who are struggling in the local communities and surrounding North West Missouri areas. We encourage everyone involved in our outreach to carry care packages in their vehicles so if they see a need they can immediately address it and help. In order to best serve the North West Missouri areas we have teams as a general rule split into three city areas, We have two teams hitting the Kansas City area and another team servicing the St. Joseph, MO area. In addition to the larger cities we have smaller teams or individuals who volunteer to help deliver care packages and food boxes in their communities as e determine needs, It is not uncommon for several of our team members and volunteers to be in multiple towns daily. Most do not finish until early evening, donating and giving of their time to serve. We could not service or do what we are doing if it were not for the generous people not only donating resources but their valuable time.
More - Hitting the streets and serving struggling families.
On Friday's after being on the streets serving on Wednesdays & Thursday's we have a better ideas of any additional needs and resources needed. You can really evaluate and learn a lot after two grueling days of being on the streets serving others. The people on the streets tend to move and circumstances and situations change on a daily basis. New people are being dislocated, displaced or broken. We send out teams to follow up and to meet the needs of any new circumstances or situations they encounter the day previous. For those not going out to outreach the homeless, teams gather a list of compiled families who are struggling and not able to obtain other resources or out of resources such as WIC, SNAP etc.. And we deliver family food boxes to their homes. We then have several people helping them fill out paperwork or looking for additional resources to help them with whatever needs they are facing. In a way our team has become a mobile social services referral centers. They intake, assess the needs, administer accordingly. Grateful to have the volunteers who give of their time to help administer to those who are struggling. There is no greater joy than serving others and helping them get on a path of self reliance.