PBRS has recently joined in collaboration with Hope Faith—Homeless Assistance Campus located in downtown Kansas City and will be assisting in case management. The concept of collaborating and connecting with other social service providers to provide the best services for those in need is the common denominator for PBRS and Hope Faith.
Hope Faith’s mission is to serve the homeless in Kansas City. According to Programs and Partnership Director Alfredo Palaco, the organization best fulfills its mission when it partners with other social service organizations in the metro area. Because every client that they serve has their own unique challenges and barriers, by working with area agencies and organizations Hope Faith can provide a wider variety of services such as medical, behavioral, employment, spiritual, and intensive case management. According to Palaco, “Working together as a community, we can leverage the strengths of partner organizations to provide integrated services to better serve those in need and to find more lasting solutions to a person’s unique situation experiencing homelessness. Partnering with PBRS aligns perfectly in our work to provide more individualized care and support for each guest that comes to Hope Faith and to others experiencing homelessness in Kansas City.”
Case Management Supervisor Jonathan Reavis adds that Precious Blood Resource Services is a good partner for Hope Faith because both look to see God in all people. “I choose to see the people I help, not as a collection of problems, but as dynamic persons of strength and resilience. From a faith perspective, this is simply the acknowledgment that God’s grace is already at work with someone long before I encounter them.” Reavis goes on to say that when this is the view of the client, social workers can see them “more like a collaborator, co-struggler, and co-sufferer. In short, it enables us to be compassionate.”
As a compassionate organization, Hope Faith offers services like private showers, hot meals, clothing, medical and dental clinics, mail services, and document assistance. Precious Blood Resource Services is a good fit for the sort of work that Hope Faith does because the most important element of case management is a caring and compassionate worker. Reavis concludes, “When we are able to sit with someone, validate their strengths and struggles, and approach each person not as a problem to be solved, but as a fellow struggler, we accomplish the goal that is at the heart of faith and our common humanity.”
I believe that this new collaboration allows PBRS to continue its mission to connect those on the margins of society, with the help they need to enhance their quality of life and lead them to independence. It provides further opportunity to assess for needs and gather resources from public and private agencies as well as walk with those needing assistance as they move through the system to get help.
For example, through Hope Faith, I was able to meet with Alicia who has been coming to the campus for a few years and utilizes their sewing center. I was able to talk with her about her situation and provide her with information regarding employment. I assured her that if she needed any other resources, I was there to help her.
I also sat with Richard who came to Kansas City a year ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota and is currently homeless by choice. He finds that the homeless population in Kansas City is “deep” and everyone is intertwined and connected and dependent on life services. It is his goal to make a documentary on the lives of the homeless in Kansas City.
As the homeless problem begins to increase all over the country, we are called to walk with those on the margins through their struggles. We must remember Matthew 25:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”