The swift arrival of a global pandemic is challenging all of us to quickly adapt to a new way of being and the team at Operation New Hope is rising to meet the challenge.
The essential services we provide our clients – transitional housing, transportation, job training and placement, mental health counseling, connection to social services – are more important now than ever. Providing these resources not only helps individuals returning from prison, but also serves as an important economic need by matching qualified, vetted employees with industries in need of workers, as well as, an important community safety measure, by helping to stabilize neighborhoods and prevent further crime.
And the demand for our services is increasing. As prisons and jails face the threat of the COVID19 pandemic infiltrating their walls, response plans include releasing prisoners to reduced exposed populations. With more and more individuals returning to our communities, it is crucial that we find ways to continue our vital work while still complying with social distancing restrictions.
The good news is that at Operation New Hope we have a team of dedicated staff who are committed to serving our community. When the pandemic struck, our employees began looking for new ways to help and proved to our clients and to the community that we will continue our mission.
Most staff are now working remotely, adapting with the use of technology, continuing to provide the highest level of service to our clients. Our caring team of Mental Health professionals are providing counseling services virtually. Our dedicated Case Managers are checking in on all clients remotely, altering individualized plans of care to meet the clients’ changing needs. Our hardworking Employment Services team is reaching out to the business community to ensure that we are leveraging all connections and matching clients with hiring companies in this shifting economy. Our committed Leadership team is sourcing new funding streams to bridge the gap and developing new business models to adjust to protect the health and well-being of our staff, clients and the community as a whole. We are reaching out to other nonprofits and community stakeholders to develop partnerships and glean “best practices” from other providers.
Most importantly, we are “ringing the bell” to celebrate our victories as a way of coming together during our time apart. Last month, we successfully matched 28 clients with full-time, living-wage employment.
We will continue to work hard, adapt, be creative to develop solutions and remain committed to serving returning citizens and the entire community. We Believe Second Chances Matter and know that this pandemic should remind us of the ways caring for the most vulnerable protects the entire community!