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November 30, 2010

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November 30, 2010

As an employee of Deborah's Place for the past 3 years, I have learned a great deal about myself and the population we serve. The women who we offer services to are phenomenal and they show a great amount of resilience. Through the support that we offer as a team and as individuals, I am proud to work for an organization such as DP.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A number of dynamic ways. I see the women who come into our programs to receive assistance and their transition from out program. The women work at their own pace which turns out to be beneficial for them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add more housing programs to cater to the intense need of homelessness for women in Chicago.

November 30, 2010

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November 30, 2010

I got involved with Deborah's Place 9 years ago as a volunteer serving dinner with friends at one of their 3 Chicago locations. Deborah's Place stood out among the many Chicago nonprofits - they had a viable and unique solution to the tired old problem of homelessness. Women at Deborah's Place were still struggling, but Deborah's Place had a strong sense of what it takes to break the cycle of homelessness. I saw the benefits and became increasingly vested. I volunteered in different areas, committed to serve on a committee, became part of the Partners in Hope donor community, joined the board and ultimately served as board president.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Measuring results over time. At first, the metrics were simple success rates but Deborah's Place has gone on to reliably measure indicators such as stability, sustainable income, access to health care and employment outcomes. Of course, meeting one of the many Deborah's Place success stories has more impact than any of these statistics but both are key to the organization's future.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

As a Marketing & Communications professional, I always wish Deborah's Place had more resources to "get the word out". It's an incredible organization but could so some much more with broader familiarity.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Deborah’s Place is a leader in supportive housing for women in Chicago. Deborah’s Place has a housing first philosophy which gets those in need off the street as soon as possible. Through the use of harm reduction techniques and case management, Deborah’s Place is fulfilling its goal of making housing available to women in Chicago. I have worked with this organization for six years and the staff, board and volunteers are of the highest quality. Deborah’s Place is known as a leader and shares its talents with other Chicago organizations to address homelessness in Chicago. I have been working with non-profits for 20 years, and this is the best yet.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have learned that homelessness and addressing homelessness it is a complex issue. It is not just a roof over someones head.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more people involved.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Deborah's Place resects women and works on getting them to respect themselves

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I see women move ahead with their lives

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to improve the food

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

get better food donated

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

satisfired

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Deborah's Place provides wonderful services to women who are currently homeless or who have been homeless. Deborah's Place upholds high standards of excellence and values -- the women are respected, supported and encouraged to set and meet their goals as individuals.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Deborah's Place has a very high rate of success in helping women break the cycle of homelessness, a remarkable accomplishment in working with a population who faces so many barriers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Assure adequate funding to do the critical one-on-one work with participants. That's not an organizational change, but a change to the external environment.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

With its mission to break the cycle of homelessness for women in Chicago, the two key words I use to describe Deborah's Place are respect and empathy. Respect and empathy extends across all programs and to all participants including staff and administrators, volunteers and board members and most especially to the women who come seeking services and shelter. Respect comes in listening and responding to the voices of all the many women who come through the doors, evolving over time from a straight forward emergency overnight shelter to a multifaceted program of permanent and transitional housing with a full range of supportive services. Empathy is shown by the innovative and cutting edge 'no-eviction' program developed by Deborah's Place as part of the solution to ending homelessness and now nationally recognized and shared by Deborah's Place with shelter and service providers around the country. I have remained a volunteer and supporter of Deborah's Place for so long because the organization is so willing to evolve. Moving from homelessness to shelter and permanent home takes resiliency, flexibility and determination. Deborah's Place demonstrates those qualities.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

... serving on the Board of Directors with Teresa. She joined us as a former program participant, then living in her own apartment. Sharing rides to meetings, we became friends. Determined to give back, her insights into the lives of women experiencing some of the same things she had only months previously was inspiring. When Teresa died from cancer she inspired us to name our next program after her. It has proven to be an ideal stopping place for strong women who need a helping hand along the way.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

trust the board and staff to listen and respond. Changing to better serve women experiencing homelessness is a core strength of Deborah's Place. My one wish for Deborah's Place is that news of what they are doing and how they do it will reach more caring people who can support the work. The rewards are enormous.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Of all of the homeless service agencies in Chicago, I believe that Deborah's Place is among the most innovative, dynamic and inclusive. I have been involved with this agency for 25 years in a variety of roles, and the love and dedication of all involved has never ceased to amaze me. It is truly a place where lives are changed.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing women who had given up hope begin to dream again. It's more than just providing a roof over their heads; it's the connection with the world around them and the community with other women, as well as the innovative service approaches, that makes this agency work.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make the community more aware of this incredible resource.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

I started working with Deborah's Place some 20 years ago as a consultant from United Way of Chicago. We dealt with capacity building in the infra-structure and program areas. I was amazed at the inclusiveness of the program participants in the roles of planning and decision making at the agency. The staff were well trained, sensitive to the women and their needs, innovative and were mission driven. I came on the Board six years ago and am proud of the governance of the organization, it's executive leadership and the forward thinking of staff and board members. Deborah's Place strongly believes in volunteers and helping them understand their roles in governance as well as program. Board member are encouraged to interact with the residents as often as they can be it playnig bingo, sharing lunch or dinner or taking some for a ride to the doctor. All decisions are made with the consideration of how it will impact the women in our programs. We also are innovative in how we strive to be more efficient in how we do our work and what are the outcomes of our work.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The women are housed, counseled and supported in their work to become independent and active within their families and community. Some have stabilized their life to find job or to continue their education.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would just continually support what they do, how they do it and laud why they do it. This organization is one of the best in dealing with breaking the cycle of homelessness for our women. You need to come and experience it.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Deborah's Place is a fabulous organization serving women in Chicago! Using Harm-Reduction, DP accepts women where they are and works to improve and stabilize their lives. It is so fulfilling to see the women learning in the Learning Center, addressing their health needs and working with their Case Managers. As we start to feel the cold outside, my heart is warmed knowing that DP has helped so many women find and maintain "home". They can address the many reasons that resulted in homelessness and become stronger citizens. I am continuously amazed at the ways that the residents reach out to others. There is a spirit that cannot be stopped!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching women enter a DP residence, stabilize and then successfully move to outside housing. I have seen first hand how the residents help new residents. These women are not just surviving ... they are thriving!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

streamline some of the record-keeping so that more time was spent on the programs. This unfortunately is out of the hands of Deborah's Place.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Deborah’s Place breaks the cycle of homelessness for women in Chicago. Through a continuum of housing options, comprehensive support services and opportunities for change provided by dedicated volunteers and staff, women succeed in achieving their goals of stable housing, sustainable income, and greater self-determination.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Enhancing the programs for the women of Deborah's Place and increasing funding for the programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the donor base!

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Cook and serve dinner to 30 women at Marah's Permanent Housing or the programs at 1530 N. Sedgwick; Teach an array of workshops in one of our Learning Centers; Give one-on-one resume and job search training; Provide administrative support in our main offices; Clean the common areas or plant flowers and landscape at any of our three locations; Throw a party for or play Bingo with the women. Volunteer