Even successful community programs have ‘lessons learned’ – Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas 2021-10-13 19:59:25 –

This is the fourth story of Continuation KSN series It focuses on the mental health and substance abuse treatments and homelessness facing Wichita and Sedgwick County.

Wichita, Kansas (KSNW) — Wichita and Sedgwick County leaders are considering a program in San Antonio as a potential way to address homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health issues.

Nearly 20 years ago, San Antonio began looking for solutions to homelessness, mental health problems, and substance abuse problems.Result is Haven for Hope, a one-stop shop that addresses each of these issues and their root causes, When Restoration centerAdjacent facility, including resources for mental health and substance abuse.

It was considered a success and became known as the “San Antonio Model”, which has been studied in the national community, but there were problems and doubts in the process.

Problem: cost

“We didn’t have the money,” said Leon Evans, a former president of the Healthcare Services Center.

The community needed to find funding to build the campus and maintenance funding for day-to-day operations.

Molly Biglari, Interim President and CEO of Haven for Hope, said:

She admits that a San Antonio philanthropist has come to the rescue.

“It needs a leader, and it was Bill Gleehei,” Bigrari said. “And it needs a great mayor, the city council, everyone was behind it.”

Greehay is a former CEO of the gas company Valero. He lobbyed and used his connections to raise more than $ 60 million from the private sector. The construction project cost $ 105 million and the rest was funded by the government.

Haven for Hope said Greehay has personally donated more than $ 34 million to support the organization and its partners over the years.

Haven for Hope’s day-to-day operations are divided into government and private funding. Federal, state, and local governments donate 56%, with 36% coming from private donations. The remaining 8% comes from United Way and campus partners, contributing to building cost and maintenance.

Challenge: Cooperate with other organizations

The next big challenge after funding was the long-term challenge. It’s about picking up individual organizations and helping them work together. Bigrari said some organizations are concerned that Haven for Hope will either take over the operations of individual organizations or affect their ability to raise funds.

“They were naturally upset,” said Vigrari. “They were already doing their own business. They were already servicing their clients.”

“It’s hard to bring together many independent agencies that are already doing their own thing,” she said.

“Most people said it was a great plan, but my money and staff didn’t,” Evans said.

Organizations that specialize in their efforts may not understand the focus of other nonprofits. Finding a common foundation is essential when groups work together to meet the needs of their clients.

“As you know, when we talk about collaborations and partnerships within other organizations, we also need to educate them. What is LGBTQIA, what does it mean, what does it mean?” Greg Cassilias Said, Prosperous youth center, One of two LGBTQ-specific emergency shelters in Texas.

I had to be honest about what went wrong with their current plans.

“If you find yourself doing something wrong, wrong, inefficient, or inefficient, that’s good, and then you’re working on it,” Evans says. I did. In the early stages, the Commission spoke openly with the mental health authorities, “Look at the good, the bad, the ugly, because believe me, there are many things that go wrong.”

“Collaboration must come from all sectors and be meaningful, not just twice a year,” says Melody Woosley, director of human services at San Antonio. Says. She said CEOs, business leaders and elected officials had to play a key role.

“Listen to learn and don’t listen to react,” said Cassilias. “I might do something well, but I can’t do everything well.”

This is an essential step in considering this type of model and is still being worked on by one of the Haven for Hope.

Melody Woosley, Director of Human Services, San Antonio, said: “No one can do this on their own.”

Place, place, place

This map shows the desired shelter with a restoration center near the lower right corner. (Courtesy shelter for hope)

One challenge could have been the location, but it turned out to be one of the easiest decisions. An empty warehouse near downtown San Antonio provided the space needed.

“Honestly, there was acreage in a really nice place that was already full of abandoned warehouses where people in need of service were already,” Biglari said.

The Haven for Hope campus spans more than 37 acres and has 67 individual campus partners serving the campus.

The problem remains

There are issues that cannot be completely resolved.

“The homeless are with us,” Oozeley said. “And I think there were homeless people from the beginning, and we always need to have the system in place.”

“We succeeded overnight for 18 years,” said Evans, acknowledging the ongoing process of improving and finding new solutions. “We started with no money or vision, but you know, except that you suddenly brought it to the forefront and at least had the opportunity to work on it.”

Supporters of San Antonio, who spoke with Wichita and Sedgwick County leaders, say they are impressed with the level of cooperation that has already begun in south-central Kansas. But they also say there’s still a lot to do.

“I tell people, don’t do what we were here, do you know? Do your own, you have different leaders, different services,” Evans said. Said. “There’s a few things happening here in San Antonio and the United States. It needs to be your plan and your vision, as it helps tell you what you’re doing in Wichita. That way, you pour your heart and soul into it. “

In the next report on Seeking Solutions, we’ll look at the challenges of Sedgwick County and hear that we need leaders to take this process to the next level.

KSN report Wichita Journalism Collaboration, An alliance of seven media organizations and three community groups, was formed to support and enhance quality local journalism. In addition to KSN, media partners include Active Age, Community Voice, Journal (Kansas Leadership Center), KMUW, Sunflower, and Wichita Eagle. Community partners who promise to participate in this initiative include AB & C Bilingual Resources, Wichita State University’s Elliott Communication School, and the Wichita Public Library.

Even successful community programs have ‘lessons learned’ Source link Even successful community programs have ‘lessons learned’

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