A PA works with one guest at a time to establish a relationship of support and encouragement. PA’s reinforce agreed to actions by guests toward employment, permanent housing, and self-sufficiency. This may mean securing proper identification, establishing a bank account, clearing a deficient credit history, or fines. A PA commits to meet with his or her assigned guest at the host community on a weekly basis throughout the guest’s stay in the program. Typically, these meetings occur on Tuesday nights after dinner, but other arrangements can be made. Training and resources are available as well as a strong team of experienced PA’s.
A PA works with one guest at a time to establish a one-on-one relationship and walk a diplomatic tightrope. On the one hand, a PA works to motivate and reinforce actions toward employment, permanent housing, and self-sufficiency. On the other, a PA must be careful to guide guests and never do for them what they can and should do for themselves.
The host community provides vital resources, fellowship, and volunteers to serve SHIP. Most communities provide nutritious meals to guests and the house manager for two-week periods once or twice per year. Tuesday evenings are special for the attendance of PA’s to meet with their guest, and we try to show our gratitude to them by including them in the meal. The host community coordinator is the liaison between the community and the program coordinators. This coordinator helps with scheduling meals, recruits volunteers for meals, donations, and supplies, as well as supervisors for weeknights and weekends if needed. They are also on the lookout for potential PA’s. Coordinators meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month wherever SHIP is docked.
We provide an online calendar to coordinate meals. Host community coordinators may use this tool to organize their meal volunteers, or individuals may sign up directly to provide a single meal. Most evenings, we expect nine adults for dinner except Tuesday nights when PA’s come to meet with guests, so there can be an additional eight people to plan for dinner.
No dinners are needed on the fourth Tuesday when we have our all-hands-on-deck potluck and meeting for PA’s and host community coordinators. This evening usually takes on an extra special meaning when we celebrate a guest’s graduation by successfully completing this four-month program. If you are not part of a host community and would like to bring a meal to the SHIP house, please use this link to sign up.
Volunteers are needed to monitor the website, email, and social media accounts. Photographers and videographers are also welcome to help with SHIP’s effort to communicate with the community. Also, if you like to write pithy emails to supporters periodically, then helping with communications is a job for you!
SHIP relies on donations from host communities and individuals. These donations cover the costs of rent, utilities, bus passes, gas cards, and identification fees. In-kind donations of cleaning supplies, clothes, toiletries, paper products, and furniture to run the house. Ideas and implementation of fundraising opportunities are always welcome.
SHIP maintains an inventory of clothing, toiletries, pantry, and household supplies. This organizer would keep order with this inventory and know when it is time to request supplies from the supporters. This would take a commitment of about four hours per month.
SHIP leases a vintage house from Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. As with any facility, repairs and maintenance are ongoing. You will not be turned away if you have a desire to help in this area.