House by the side of the road
House Manager Report - September 9, 2018
1. Client Statistics – We served 267 households in August: 388 adults and 390 children for a total of 778 people. 80 were new clients.
2. Saturdays – We were not open the first Saturday of September due to the Labor Day Weekend. We will be open September 29th. That was the only Saturday in September we could have that didn’t conflict with a football game.
3. Volunteers – We are down to 28 regular volunteers. One of our volunteers got a job as a lunchtime cashier at one of the public schools so she can’t volunteer during the week at all. We have had several people say they were interested but haven’t shown up for a visit yet. I met with one U of M student who is interested in having a group of students volunteer on Saturdays. That might be really helpful.
4. Donation Status –
We continue to get many, many donations. I put out a request for Twin Size Sheets at my church last week. The response was noticeable – more to come. Our biggest problem is getting through the sorting and getting the clothes out onto the racks.
What we need:
· Pots and pans
· Twin size sheets
· Small appliances
· Plus size women’s clothes
· Children’s clothes for boys – sizes 6-8.
5. Business/Community Contacts –
· The First Baptist Church in Ann Arbor donated the Bibles and purses as promised. All of the 20 purses (each filled with toiletries and other small items) have been taken by clients.
· Kiwanis has invited me (along with some others) for a tour of their facility on Monday, September 24th. Kiwanis continues to donate clothes and bedding to us on a regular basis.
6. Community Outreach – I have been asked to attend a Friends in Deed VISION session to talk about how organizations in the community can continue to work more effectively with one another. I will be attending the session on September 20th.
7. Facility Status –
· We had our follow-up Fire Inspection on September 4th. We passed with flying colors. He found a couple of additional items:
i. no light in the emergency stairway coming down from Fresh Start . Not really our problem. The landlord had that fixed the next day.
ii. possibly a requirement to leave the inner door unlocked when Fresh Start is upstairs. I will follow up on that.
· Fresh Start cleaned up the sidewalk – removing all the weeds.
· I don’t have any feedback on the awning.
· We need to have the carpet cleaned on both sides of the building.
· We received guidance about signage to direct donors to the back dock. No progress here yet.
8. Safety Issues –
· The back hallway looks really good! We have been able to maintain a clear exit space. The new metal wire crates are working out extremely well.
· There has been a suggestion that we install the first aid kit in a more visible place. No action on this yet. Currently everyone knows where the first aid kit is.
9. Areas that need attention –
· Documenting procedures – I have completed the client check-in procedure.
· Training new volunteers – first we need to get some new volunteers!
10. Client Stories – One client started at the House about 4 years ago with 2 children and a fiancé. Then her “fiancé” left her when she was pregnant with twins. He also left behind his 2 children from another relationship with her. She now has 6 children but finds it very stressful to take care of all them financially. She depends on the House – especially when trying to get some of her children ready for school.
11. Overall Appearance and Organization – We are in the midst of taking summer items off the racks and putting out winter items (as well as Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations). These transition periods require quite a bit of extra effort. Several volunteers are coming in more than one day a week to help out.
12. Computer plans – We should have the new software for check-in and check-out in September. The person who has written this software has come in to see how we operate. He practiced with a several client files to see how well the software addressed our procedures. We hope to have this active soon. We will need a couple of additional computers – one at the front desk and one at checkout. I think this will cost less than $1000. We can think about applying for a grant to cover this cost.
13. Issues –
· We continue to have days when we are overwhelmed with the number of clients. One day we were still checking out clients at 3:30 and didn’t leave the House until 4:00. We usually try to leave by 3:00 pm.
· Language barriers – There is still room for improvement here.
Mary Danforth, House Manager