This year, we’ve launched our first ever annual campaign. It feels odd for us to ask for money for ourselves and not the people we serve. Yet, as we look at the work we’ve done this year, in just a few of our programs, we know that if we are to keep going, we need room and a space that offers us the opportunity to keep growing. The mission of Kenosha Human Development Services has always been to make sure everyone has what they need. It’s just that simple. We want our community to have a place to turn to where there will always be help. If we cannot give you an answer, we will find someone who can! Many of our programs run on a shoestring staff. The number of people we serve far outweighs the actual number of staff working in the program. Still we make it work. However, as more needs arise so does the number of programs! Our walls are bursting with program staff and, thus, we are set to move.
So, what do we do, anyway? Well, how about a brief run down on just a few of our programs. For example, the Housing Assistance Services Unit is comprised of seven different components including Coordinated Entry, Street Outreach, Rapid Rehousing, Permanent Supported Housing and Peer Supported Crisis Stabilization among others. There are nine staff members and one agency Director overseeing the program. To date, these programs have housed 78 individuals and assisted 374 adults and families in navigating housing support utilizing the Coordinated Entry System. This is not a shelter. These are real people finding real housing for people experiencing homelessness and then, following up with them to help them maintain that housing too. It’s a big job! Right now, the staff in the program are patched into two buildings without a central location. Our move will make it viable to have them collocated and easier for those in the program to access the service.
Another great program and the fastest growing service in our service array is the Comprehensive Community Services. This is a mental health/substance abuse case management program in which Service Facilitators help adults living with these disorders create their life plans and achieve their goals. In 2019, CCS and its sister program Community Support, served 540 adults! That is a lot of traffic in and out of our very small building not to mention a lot of Service Facilitators! Space is tight in these programs right now. And we’d really like to create a welcoming place for the program participants. A place they will feel comfortable in for support groups, meetings and other activities.
Not to be outdone, our Children’s Long-Term Waiver program has supported 303 children with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. The workers for this program are dedicated and supportive and they are all housed together on the second floor of our aging annex building. Being tucked away from the rest of the agency can feel awfully lonely! In our move to our new building, it will be important that all programs have their space but also feel very much a part of KHDS.
There are so many other programs out there, spread out among other buildings, cramped into tiny offices, just doing what we do best – serving Kenosha – but in desperate need of some leg room and room to grow. These are just some of the numbers. Multiply them by another 37 programs and you’ll understand how much we manage to do, in spite of our current situation. So, we have to ask, even if it feels odd. Please Help Us, Help More. Your generous donation will help us create a vibrant, dynamic place where Kenoshans can come for support.