AuthorAngela Crist

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A New Face In The Mirror

As I sat in my car looking at the red and blue lights in my rearview mirror waiting for the officer to approach my window, I knew that my secret was
going to be exposed. I thought about all the people in my life that would be hurt and disappointed by the news. My life had been spiralling out of control for almost a year and now, at this moment, everything came crashing down. All I could think was “Mindy, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

In November 2012, I started working a seasonal job and hanging out with a group of friends. We started to go out to the bar a few nights a week. Some of them did drugs on a regular basis and because I was struggling and wanted to escape my thoughts and problems I thought, “Why not?” I wasn’t
scared, just curious to see if I could “get away” from my demons that had haunted me since I was a child. I was immediately addicted.

Crack became the only thing I cared about. My two boys, family, my college education, and financial responsibilities were no longer a priority. I began to make excuses on why I couldn’t watch my kids, pay my bills, or be accountable. The drug took me places I never thought I would have gone, it completely turned my life upside down.

When I got pulled over, I was charged with possession of cocaine. While I was awaiting my sentencing, I was in shock that I had gotten to the point that I was facing a felony charge. I mean, ME, a young woman who was raised in a small county school in a middle class family, now with two kids, a job, and a place to myself. It allowed me to take a hard look at my life and exactly what I was doing not only to myself but to everyone around me.
Something had to change.

During my sentencing I was given Treatment in Lieu of Conviction and three years’ probation. I had to complete an Intensive Outpatient Program, which was a women’s group that met three days a week for 31 consecutive weeks. I also had to attend 2-3 AA (alcoholics anonymous) or NA (narcotics anonymous) meetings a week along with checking in regularly with the probation office. During these meetings, I learned skills on how to cope with
problems that arise daily and how to handle urges I may get to return to the drug. I was taught how to communicate my feelings and that it was okay to talk about how I felt – something that I did not learn while growing up.

In the fall of 2014, I had heard about the Getting Ahead class that Hope House offers through a friend of mine. He shared with me how much he had
gotten out of it and I thought to myself, “What the heck, why not give it a shot and see what this class is all about!” After the conclusion of each class, I left feeling a little better about the direction I was headed with my life and was given the confidence and support to do it! I was able to dig deep and look at all areas of my life. I was taught time management skills, how to set boundaries with relationships, SMART goals, and took a self-reflection assessment – along with A LOT more.

Having someone help connect me with resources such as creating a resume, interview and job skills, and a positive circle of influence to bridge the gap as I was working harder to improve my life has been a priceless gift. Getting Ahead has helped me distinguish the differences between the adult/parent/child voices and when/how to properly use them. I learned that I am worthy of positive relationships and that I am not a door mat and that I am able to stand up for myself and what I believe in. I finally was able to see all the potential within myself and my kids; and so far, this is one of the biggest changes for me.

Since graduating Getting Ahead, I still attend monthly meetings with fellow Getting Ahead grads and allies from the community and I have also been a co-facilitator of a Getting Ahead class – helping others find their worth, potential, and independence. It warms my heart to know that through my
struggles and past decisions, I have a wonderful organization that supports me and allows me to reach out to others that might be facing the same circumstances.

I am still active in NA as that is a huge part of my recovery. I have been the secretary of my home group and am a chair person at meetings. I am also on the Hospitals and Institutions committee which allows myself along with others from NA go into the Hancock County Justice Center and provide meetings to inmates that are seeking recovery.

Recently, after working full time in a factory for a year and a half, I was hired into a busy professional housing office where I have full benefits such as paid holidays, paid vacation, 401K, and health insurance. I enjoy having the weekends and evenings to spend with my boys and I absolutely love my supportive coworkers. And the best part…. I have business cards!!!

To me, they are just more than a card, they make me feel important, worthy, and like I matter. They remind me daily that hard work pays off and you CAN change your life around with the help of great support.

When I got pulled over that late night in 2013, I was terrified about how far I had fallen – I didn’t even recognize the reflection in the mirror. But looking back, I couldn’t be more thankful for that the officer that pulled me over and gave me the eye-opening wakeup call I needed to be the mother, friend, co-worker, and community member I wanted to be.

Help Hope House assist more families like Mindy’s to independence!

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Through Her Eyes: A Resident’s Journey Out of Homelessness

Imagine you are homeless, and everything you try to do to find a home, doesn’t work. You follow the rules. You work at finding a home every day. But no one cuts you a break.

This video follows the journey of a Hope House resident and her son. You see what they see — from the fear and frustration, to finding a home of their own.

The journey from homelessness is never a straight and predictable path. Together, we can make sure no one walks this journey alone.

You are invited to become part of this journey. Because everyone deserves a home.

Angela Crist

Chief Executive Officer, Hope House

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We’re Hiring! Shelter Case Manager – Substance Abuse Counselor

Job Title:            Shelter Case Manager-Substance Abuse Counselor

Reports To:       Program Director

Status:               Exempt

  • Job Purpose:    Hope House for the Homeless (Findlay, Ohio) is seeking a full-time, experienced individual to provide chemical dependency support and case management to Hope House transitional Shelter residents.  The Shelter Case Manager-Substance Abuse Counselor will focus on supporting adult female residents struggling with chemical dependency while assisting them and their children in mobilizing community resources.  This position requires experience in the care of adult individuals with substance abuse issues and a strong knowledge of treatment strategies and resources. Solid awareness of appropriate personal boundaries, a consistently positive attitude and the ability to deal with difficult, uncertain and stressful situations in a constructive manner is a must.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Act as a resource to staff in matters regarding chemical dependency.
  • Provide support with intakes, screening procedures and communication regarding residents.
  • Conduct accurate criminal background checks.
  • Effectively orient residents to the shelter as needed by explaining expectations and costs for which they may be responsible.
  • Determine program fees after assessing income and budgetary needs.
  • Using appropriate instrumentation, develop and monitor individual case plans to address identified problems and implementing weekly reviews, measurable goals and action plans necessary for successful independent living.
  • Prepare and maintain up to date confidential and organized client files including comprehensive assessments, case plans, referrals, intakes, termination reports, progress notes and other records as necessary.
  • Obtain releases and maintain contact with referring professionals and seek assistance in matters exceeding level of expertise and/or scope of practice.
  • Coordinate the delivery of service provisions and act as an advocate in accessing other needed services.
  • Maintain familiarity with community resources and their limitations, the procedures for making referrals and the confidentiality requirements inherent to the referral process so that community resources are used to benefit clients.
  • Assist in ensuring program compliance with administrative directives as well as state and federal regulations.
  • Provide support with the development and coordination of living skills seminars and provision of materials to residents unable to attend.
  • Maintain precise, accurate documentation and statistics for all activities and report outcomes as necessary.
  • Maintain a current and accurate client database within HMIS.
  • Read shift logs at the beginning of the day appropriately documenting all necessary information prior to the end of the day.
  • Assist with navigating emergency situations occurring during the evening and on weekends and participate in on-call rotation as requested.
  • Assist with general indoor and outdoor routine tasks required to maintain the cleanliness and safety of the shelter.
  • Appropriately communicate with staff members regarding resident issues, program development and program implementation.
  • Communicate identified program needs and suggested improvements with the Program Director.
  • Maintain professional licensure and/or certification and pursue professional development training opportunities.
  • Contribute to Hope House newsletter and social media posts.
  • Perform other duties as requested by Program Director and/or CEO.

Qualifications:

  • Experience in the care of adult individuals with substance abuse issues and knowledge of treatment strategies and resources.
  • Commitment to improving the housing situation of homeless and under-resourced women and women with children.
  • A professional attitude, ability to manage time and organize work demands, work effectively in stressful situations, think critically and exercise discretion and independent judgement in significant matters.
  • Must demonstrate good moral character and an even temper necessary to gain and maintain credibility and trust of those being served.
  • Must have the ability to effectively work with agency staff, community-based organizations and a diverse population.
  • Experience with descriptive/clinical writing.
  • Familiarity with regulations governing the disclosure of client information and storage of client records.
  • Willing to adhere to the Counselor’s Code of Ethics and demonstrate a positive attitude regarding the disease of addiction.
  • Must have valid driver’s license and maintain auto insurance. When the need arises must be flexible to travel within Hancock County and surrounding areas.
  • Bilingual ability to read, write and speak Spanish as a second language is a plus.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree with Chemical Dependency emphasis, Psychology, Social Work or correlating Human Service field, or minimum 5 years of experience in a related field.
  • LCDC, LICDC, LPC or CCMHC preferred.
  • Three years case management experience assisting homeless or under-resourced populations a plus.

Salary is commensurate with experience and education. Complete benefit package.

 

MISSION:
The mission of Hope House is to eliminate homelessness and alleviate poverty in Hancock County.

 

More information about Hope House can be located at findlayhopehouse.org. Hope House is an equal opportunity provider.

 

 

TO APPLY FOR THIS FULL-TIME POSITION:
Qualified candidates should direct cover letter, resume and professional references to slehman@findlayhopehouse.org

 

Deadline for submission is Saturday, April 30, 2016

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Housing Resource Case Manager Position Opening

Hope House seeks a passionate and self-motivated individual to provide house resource support and rapid rehousing case management. This full time position works within a highly motivated team charged with ending homelessness and alleviating poverty in Hancock County. Hope House offers competitive salary and benefits. See position description, qualifications and findlayhopehouse.org for additional information.

Qualified candidates should direct cover letter, resume and professional references to slehman@findlayhopehouse.org by July 13, 2015.

 

Housing Resource/Rapid Rehousing Case Manager Position Description 

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Program Director

 

FUNCTION: Assist homeless, at-risk and low income individuals avert homelessness through case management toward stable housing solutions.

OBJECTIVES: Provide support with securing and maintaining stable housing and self-sufficiency by assessing client needs and providing guidance via case planning.

  1. Maintain confidentiality of client information at all times.
  1. Hold interviews and screen candidates for admission to the Rapid Rehousing Program.
  1. Develop, monitor and routinely evaluate progress of individual case plans containing goals and action plans for successful, independent living via office visits, telephone calls and home visits.
  1. Maintain precise, accurate documentation and statistics for all activities and report outcomes as necessary.
  1. Communicate with staff members regarding client issues, program development and implementation.
  1. Lead transitional assistance of shelter residents and unassigned Housing Office referrals in determining level of housing assistance needed.
  1. Cultivate relationships with various community agencies, housing associations, landlords and property management companies which serve low-income individuals and families.
  1. Establish working relationships with area employers and employment agencies and provide guidance with techniques imperative to finding a job, including filling out applications, writing resumes and interviewing.
  1. Assist with referring clients to appropriate resources specific to individual needs and with managing benefit applications and recertification requirements.
  1. Transport residents, potential residents and other referred individuals as it pertains to housing and employment issues.
  1. Provide fair housing information per city & county contracts as well as eviction prevention support through landlord tenant advocacy.
  1. Assist with emergency and seasonal community assistance.
  1. Participate in the on-call rotation.
  1. Perform other duties as requested.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Commitment to improving the housing situation of low-income and homeless individuals in Hancock County and the surrounding area.
  • Ability work effectively with community-based organizations and diverse constituencies.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office software.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively and professionally through multiple forms of communication.
  • Must possess leadership traits and the ability to do presentations with confidence.
  • Must have a professional attitude, strong organizational skills and the ability to meet deadlines, think critically and to work effectively in stressful situations.
  • Must be able to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Sufficiently mobile and flexible to travel up to several days a week within Hancock County and surrounding areas.

 

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work or related area, or equivalent experience.
  • Two to three years case management experience is a plus.
  • Experience assisting homeless or under-housed populations preferred.

 

MISSION:
The mission of Findlay Hope House is to eliminate homelessness and alleviate poverty in Hancock County.

 

TO APPLY FOR THIS FULL-TIME POSITION:
Qualified candidates should direct cover letter, resume and professional references to slehman@findlayhopehouse.org by July 13, 2015.

More information about Findlay Hope House can be located at findlayhopehouse.org. Hope House is an equal opportunity provider.

 

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Join the Team!

Hope House is seeking its newest team member, to join as the Development Coordinator for the organization. This full time position works alongside a highly motivated team and offers the opportunity to grow with the organization. Hope House offers competitive salary and benefits.

Development Coordinator

Job Description

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: CEO

CLASSIFICATION: Exempt

FUNCTION: Coordinate all organizational development activities

OBJECTIVES:

Ensure advancement of development goals, including:

  • Lead special event organization including timeline creation and execution, volunteer recruitment and coordination, invitations, marketing and logistics.
  • Manage donor/volunteer database including generation of reports for analysis to drive outreach strategies and development goals.
  • Assist with organization and management of all marketing as it relates to development, including newsletter, e-newsletter, social media and special publications.
  • Assist with recruitment of Board Development Committee and organizing committee to advance organizational development goals.
  • Assist with development of external relationships to increase physical and financial support for the organization.
  • Work with CEO, volunteer coordinators, other staff and board to build and maintain a coordinated approach to develop relationships with organizations, suppliers, donors and volunteers.
  • Help set organizational development goals.
  • Engage in regular training and implement best practices for organizational advancement.
  • Other duties as assigned by CEO.

EXPERIENCE:

  • Minimum 3 years experience in marketing, outside/inside sales, volunteer coordination, event coordination, public relations or fundraising required.
  • Experience with creative design software, website editing programs, database software and Microsoft Office suite preferred.
  • Must be able to work independently and with multiple teams to achieve aggressive goals.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively and professionally through multiple forms of communication.

EDUCATION:

Bachelor’s Degree in marketing, communications, public relations, event management or related area or minimum 5 years experience in a related field.

MISSION:

The mission of Findlay Hope House is to eliminate homelessness and alleviate poverty in Hancock County.

TO APPLY:

Qualified candidates should direct cover letter, resume and writing sample to acrist@findlayhopehouse.org by March 20, 2014.  More information about Findlay Hope House can be located at findlayhopehouse.org. Hope House is an equal opportunity provider.

 

 

 

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Interview: America’s Youngest Outcasts

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Yesterday, we were invited to speak with Chris Oaks, host of Good Mornings! on AM 1330 in Findlay about the impact of homelessness on children. Chris had recently come across a study, America’s Youngest Outcasts, from The National Center on Family Homelessness and wanted to talk about how the findings of the study show up in Findlay and Hancock County.

During the interview, we discussed some of the obvious ways homelessness can negatively impact children and also touched on some outcomes that may get overlooked. One example: Given the high level of stress that a homeless child is likely to experience, it’s not surprising that these children become sick four times as often as their more stable peers.

The subtext to a chronically sick child is how much more often a parent will need to take time off work to care for the sick child, thus jeopardizing any employment foothold they may gain in trying to break the homelessness cycle. With children, the pressure to escape homelessness is much higher and unfortunately, the potential barriers also increase.

Where there is family homelessness, there is almost certainly youth homelessness. In Hancock County, there are incidents of unaccompanied youth homelessness but the majority of local homeless youth are those caught in the cycle with their parents. Even in our own Shelter, since it opened in 1990, over half of the residents have been children.

So what can be done? Beyond supporting the services that help families break the cycle of homelessness, there are small but meaningful ways individuals can help homeless families and children. We found this list to have some especially good suggestions.

 

 

 

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