No-Cost Flu Shot Clinics

It’s that time of year again!
The Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne is organizing community flu shot clinics throughout Fort Wayne.

As part of our Healthy Living Program, HCFTW locates partners throughout the community and holds no-cost clinics where community members receive their flu shots from a registered Pharmacist.

There is no cost involved with our community flu shot clinics and vouchers are provided for any person unable to pay for his or her flu shot, so nobody is turned away.

If you’d like us to bring a community flu shot clinic to your location, give us a call at 260-557-1230 or email@staff.hcftw.org.

No-Cost Flu Shot Clinics

 

Sign-up for a flu shot here! 

Upcoming Community Flu-Shot Clinics:

 

Would you like to have a flu shot clinic at your location?

Click here to sign-up.

 



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A generous donation

We’ve received the first part of a very generous donation from Parkview Health.

This generous donation from Parkview Health will help us towards our ambitious goal of equipping every partner site we tutor at with a full-service lab for classes and for the residents to use for everyday tasks as well.

The latest facility to receive a computer lab is Cedars Hope, a home for women living with serious mental illness – where instruction will begin the first week of September.

The Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Inc. formally thanks you for your generous support of our community initiatives.

Donated equipment
Donated equipment

 

HCFTW takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Two Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Inc. board members took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge today. The Ice Bucket Challenge is designed to increase awareness and raise money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

Participants douse themselves and (hopefully) donate towards ALS care and research.

Learn more about ALS by visiting the ALS Association.

Check out our videos below!

 

Dmitriy Usher, Homeless Coalition Board President

 

 

 

Homelessness and Fort Wayne; Episode 4; Unemployment & Substance Abuse

The fourth installment of Homelessness and Fort Wayne is now available on-line.

In this fourth episode,  Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Inc. hosted a round-table discussion of community leaders working in the areas of employment and substance abuse to find out what methods were being used to tackle these important issues.

Watch the full episode below via YouTube.

 

5 Reasons a Coalition is the Right Approach to Addressing Homelessness in Fort Wayne

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5 Reasons a Coalition is the Right Approach to Addressing Homelessness in Fort Wayne

As referenced in our previous post Three Reasons Why Education Programs for Adults are Necessary to Help the Homeless Population, homelessness is a multi-faceted problem. A wonderful way to address a multi-faceted problem is with multiple hands working toward a common goal. We call this a coalition

co·a·li·tion noun ?k?-?-?li-sh?n

: a group of people, groups, or countries who have joined together for a common purpose

: the action or process of joining together with another or others for a common purpose

 http://www.merriam-webster.com

 

A coalition is a lot of work, but can be well worth the effort. Below are five reasons a coalition is the right approach to addressing homelessness in Fort Wayne.

1) A Holistic Approach

No one organization can possibly address every issue associated with homelessness. Each organization has a first-hand understanding of the need that organization addresses. By collaborating with organizations that provide both long and short-term solutions to homelessness, we can provide a more holistic approach to caring for the homeless population.

 

2) Better Understanding of Available Resources

 

Collaboration helps avoid duplication, allowing for more effective use of resources. Shared knowledge increases referral potential allowing each organization to focus on a particular expertise. We all have limited resources. By sharing the burden, organizations can often accomplish more together than they would alone.

 

Fort Wayne has a multitude of nonprofits, charitable organizations and resources. We have been fortunate enough to have much of the groundwork already laid for us. The next step is collaboration so that we can all be better stewards of the resources our community so generously provides.

 

3) Expanded Network Opportunities

 

By working with like-minded organizations, socially aware organizations have increased opportunity to make new contacts. These contacts can be very beneficial in connecting a socially aware organization to new fundraising opportunities, more advocacy opportunities, and potential future employees.

 

4) Being Part of a Coalitions Adds Credibility to an Organization

 

Being well connected increases the credibility of an organization. The more the community becomes familiar with an organization, the more likely the community members are to partner with and support an organization.

 

5.) Peer Support and Recognition

 

Everyone wants to be part of a winning team. Members of a coalition can share in each other’s successes and comfort each other when things don’t quite work out as planned. Increasing an organization’s network also increases that organization’s support group. We all need support sometimes.

 

Related Readings

http://newyorkblog.foundationcenter.org/2011/06/to-collaborate-or-not-to-collaborate-nonprofit-networks-and-coalitions.html

https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/buildingeffectivecoalitions.pdf

http://www.philanthropyjournal.org/archive/99923

http://www.worldanimal.net/our-programs/strategic-advocacy-course-new/module-4/networking-and-alliances/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-working-in-coalitions

http://www.in.gov/ihcda/files/Emergency_Shelter_List(1).pdf

Computer Lab at Cedars Hope

We’re excited to have set up a full service computer lab at Cedars HOPE, a home for women living with mental illness.

In addition to instructor – led training, the computers will be open for the residents to use on their own time.

In today’s world, it’s vital to have access to the possibilities the Internet and digital skills bring.

HCFTW computers at Cedars Hope, a home for women living with mental illness.
HCFTW computers at Cedars Hope, a home for women living with mental illness.
HCFTW computers at Cedars Hope, a home for women living with mental illness.
HCFTW computers at Cedars Hope, a home for women living with mental illness.

Homelessness and Fort Wayne; Episode 4; Unemployment & Substance Abuse

Yesterday, Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Inc. was at Access Fort Wayne, filming the fourth installment of Homelessness and Fort Wayne.

This month, the panel discussed the sobering topic of unemployment and substance abuse and what it means to have a quarter of our fellow citizens living below the poverty line.

Click the picture below to view the album on Flikr. In case you missed the episode on Access Fort Wayne channels 1 and 2, stay tuned to hcftw.org or our FaceBook page to catch the full episodes available on-line.

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Homeless: Are you misusing the word?

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“For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience.”? Ingrid Bengis

Words matter. Everyone knows it. The idea that words can bring real harm extends far beyond the confines of the playground. Those who speak are accountable for their words.

 

Sometimes, however, people are not aware that what they are saying is actually hurtful. Sometimes insults can be so settle that the one delivering the insult doesn’t even know that he/she is being inconsiderate. It is the person on the other end that suffers, and is likely to suffer again.

 

There is a word that has been popping up more and more in the news. There is a subject being brought up more frequently at the dinner table. The word appears on the news, in newspapers, on church bulletins, in pamphlets and on cardboard signs. HOMELESS. Don’t misunderstand. The word ‘homeless’ is not a bad word. In fact homelessness can happen to anyone. Homelessness is an unfortunate reality that needs to be addressed.

 

At no point is this blog meant to shame. This article is meant to make the reader think. This article assumes that the reader has a heart for the homeless population. This article assumes the reader generally tries to be a kind person. The question this article wishes to address is: Are we using the word HOMELESS appropriately?

 

Homeless is an Adjective Not a Noun

 

The first point may seem subtle, but it is a necessary to continue the discussion.

 

Homeless is an adjective, not a noun.

 

The word homeless describes a person; it does not define a person. She is not a mansion and he is not an apartment. Why is he homeless? Anyone can be homeless. Just because he is without a home does not mean that one characteristic defines him.

 

Lose a Name – Lose an Identity

 

Objectification is the natural result of being diminished to one characteristic. What’s in a name? A lot. Hearing one’s name is enough to stop a person in their tracks. Not being addressed appropriately is enough to deter any self-respecting individual from wanting to engage further. Once a person is insulted, everything else is just chatter.

 

Lisa Hoffman and Brian Coffey of the University of Washington conducted a study focused on homeless service providers. Instead of looking at the numeric results of shelters, they examined how individuals experiencing homelessness felt about their interactions with service providers. The results were disheartening.

 

A 27 year old stated:

 I had too much personal pride to be talked down to and to be treated like a child. . .I still carry a lot of pride being a veteran and I was not about to have somebody talk to me like I am a street fellow. . .They have the attitude, we can. . .treat you how we want because if you do not like it you can get out. . .there is 10 more guys waiting for your bed.

Imagine how differently his homeless experience would’ve been had he felt respected. Would he have eaten better, slept better, felt more appreciated?

 

Inclusive Language

 

Words are tricky things. It is hard to know how someone else feels. It can be harder to try to hear oneself through another person’s ears.

 

This doesn’t mean that seeking appropriate language isn’t worth the effort.

 

The University of New Hampshire has a pretty good definition for Inclusive Language.

Inclusive Language is communication that does not stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics including gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, economic background, ability/disability status, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

 

Inclusive Language isn’t intended just for persons who are homeless or who are a minority. No one wants to be defined by his or her wealth or lack thereof. Most people would much rather be defined by who they are, what they love, or generally – just how they wish to be perceived.

 

Related Readings

http://www.povertyinsights.org/2012/05/29/homeless-americans-whats-in-a-name/

http://www.unh.edu/inclusive/bias-free-language-guide

http://sistersoftheroad.org/voices/file_download.php?file_id=1072