Officials at Rotary House are hoping to change public perception about the services they offer, as challenges facing the homeless population are reaching an all-time high.
Marketing Director Paige Smith says she has spent a lot of time recently explaining to several local groups, including many long-time donors, that problems happening with other local not-for-profit organizations are not affecting Rotary operations.
“There is a lot of misconception about the programs and services we offer, and the way we treat our clients. I think a lot of people are hesitant to get involved and participate because they’re not sure what’s going on.”
The difficulties, however, go past serving the most at-risk clients, as desperately needed fundraising has also hit a snag due to misconceptions about those who use the facilities.
“A lot of people think just because someone lives at Rotary, that instantly they’re a write-off. When a lot of our clients have jobs and function quite highly in society.”
Smith says they’re also looking to fully fund a new program they hope to launch later this year. Rotary’s Road to Recovery will try and get people who are out of detox and treatment the opportunity to learn some life skills that others may take for granted.
“We are also going to teach them some skills that we think will integrate them back into society quicker. Just building their confidence, helping them feel like they’re not isolated in the community.”
She adds that Rotary is currently looking into details into two grants to help fund the program, but that money would not be available to them until 2020. She says any donation, financial or otherwise can make a big difference.
“Food donations are a big one, [as well as] socks. Any way we can lower our budget and not cut into it just for client needs.”
For more information, or to donate, you can head to the Rotary House website.