Wednesday, February 17, 2016

There’s No Place Like Home

By Laura Haskell, Community LINC Volunteer
Community LINC provides that stability that so many homeless families crave. 

“Close your eyes, tap your heels together three times and think to yourself, there’s no place like home!”

How simple life would be if we could all click our heels together and magically appear in our homes. Unfortunately, not everyone in Kansas City has a place of their own to call home.

On February 17th, you have the chance to give families in Kansas City the building blocks to make a place of their own home. We are launching the Homes Matter campaign for the first time at Community LINC. During this single day you can help us reach our goal of raising $25,000. A gift can provide bedding, kitchen and bath fundamentals for the families we serve. Together we can make a difference in the community and start hundreds of homeless on their journey to self-sufficiency.

Spread the word about our Homes Matter campaign by sharing our story and inviting your friends and family to participate!  Help give KC families the basics: #HomesMatter

Friday, February 12, 2016

Community Matters

By Tiffani Kintchen, Special Events Manager

“I deeply believe in Community LINCs mission to break the cycle of homelessness for children and families by helping them build lives of hope, stability, and greater self-sufficiency. We can all make a difference by working together, and I am blessed to be part of a community of churches, businesses, and individuals who pull together to help families in crisis.”

As the Special Events Manager, my job isn’t working hands on with the children and families who come to Community LINC.  My role is generate the funds needed to sustain our programs and services.  It’s through the generosity of our donors that has brought light back into the lives of so many families.  While the staff and volunteers at Community LINC dedicate their energies to creating opportunities for each family to achieve stability and self-sufficiency, it is the individuals, churches, businesses and organization in our community who have truly cared to break the cycle of homelessness amongst us.  Without the support of our community, none of the life-changing transformations would have been possible.  On their behalf, I thank you!  You are literally changing the lives of families. 

Your support made it possible.  As I begin to look forward to our annual Rent Party fundraising event, I am once again excited about the anticipated always-generous response by our community to support the families at Community LINC.  While it is true we are blessed beyond measure by how the community partners with us, I find the most exciting part to be the gathering of friends, new and old.  Nothing makes us happier than to introduce new friends to the joy of helping homeless families find hope again and to reacquaint ourselves with those already standing alongside us.   

The best part about my job at Community is knowing that the funds we raise will provide children and their family a safe and stable place to call home.  We will provide them a firm foundation from which to launch as they work to find permanent housing, increase their job skills and employment, and improve their financial stability.  Lives are being changed here at Community LINC, and we thank you – OUR COMMUNITY for your part in that. The power of our community to generate change is formidable.  Together we have brought hope and stability into the lives of families.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Every Hour Counts!

By Daniel Barber, Volunteer Manager

The community that supports Community LINC is a very generous one!  2015 was filled with fantastic acts of kindness and dedication from our volunteers.  These volunteers are essential to Community LINC’s ability to function and impact poverty.  Often times, individual volunteers can overlook or forget about the importance of their time.  But we know every hour counts!

2015 in Review
In 2015, Community LINC volunteers donated 5,427 recorded hours.  That time is estimated to be a $135,435 value to Community LINC.  Allow me a moment to recognize just a few highlights of the overall contributions of our volunteers.

Apartment Preparations:  Our volunteers spent 332 hours cleaning, re-organizing and decorating apartments to make them feel like a place our residents can call “home”.   On average, each apartments takes about 10 – 12 volunteer hours to get ready for the next family.  Without volunteers, that work would have to be done by employees. Which would mean: 1) Less time for employees typical duties (maintenance, or resident interactions), or 2) Community LINC would have to hire more employees to handle the duties, and 3) Probably most importantly, apartment prep would take longer, and families would have to wait longer to move in.

Budgeting: Last year, our budgeters clocked 233 budgeting hours.  That is time spent, individually, with residents and aftercare participants, helping them achieve their financial goals and attain stability.   Budget counseling is a big reason 93% of our program graduates from 2008-2013 have not returned to homelessness in the last seven years.

Maintenance: Our buildings are over 100 years old.  We have all the maintenance duties any other apartment complex would have, on top of the impressive age of our buildings.  As you can imagine, every single one of the 1,387 hours donated to maintenance was greatly needed.  Without these dedicated volunteers, our facility would not look nearly as nice and would be very far behind on routine maintenance.

Youth / Children: Throughout 2015, our volunteers spent 696 hours with the children of Community LINC.  The impact of homelessness on a child can be devastating; emotionally and developmentally.  The time our volunteers spent caring for and supporting these children has greatly impacted and improved each student’s ability to deal with their stressful circumstances.

Special Events: The Rent Party is a fantastic highlight of the year for Community LINC.  It is also responsible for one-third of our operating budget! To pull off such a fantastic evening of entertainment, it takes lots of time and preparation - 258 volunteer hours to be exact!  Volunteers are crucial for acquiring donations for the auction, as well as to make sure the event runs smoothly.  Without all of these hours, the Rent Party could not be as successful as it is.

These are just a few highlights of the overall impact our volunteers make at Community LINC.  Each hour donated means we can do a better job at ending homelessness, impacting poverty and removing barriers to self-sufficiency for the families we serve.  The volunteers at Community LINC clearly understand just how much community matters. We appreciate every one of our volunteers and every hour donated!