May 22, 2012
As a professional who has worked with families in poverty for over twenty years I have experienced the 'inside story' of shelters and families and have what I would classify as intimate knowledge of this vulnerable population and difficult work context. No shelter that I have ever worked with or visited is perfect. Genesis A New Life is a unique place where the most vulnerable are cared for with hopeful intentionality that the future can be a place of stability for young families to grow and develop. The shelter is clean, well organized and provides structure. The families are given responsibility for their lives and the opportunity to work collaboratively with staff, community and each other to move forward with building a secure environment in which they can raise their children. Every shelter I have ever known struggles with accessing material resources. Every shelter I have ever known struggles with how to create an environment where there is enough structure and enough support to promote motivation and give opportunity. Genesis, like all shelters, could use help with these issues. As I read other reviews and thought about what I know about Genesis I would say that there are ways to help. Since supplies are donated then a year supply of cleaning materials would help. Since child care is always an issue for families in poverty then scholarships for initial child care spaces either from child care agencies, churches or individuals would help. Even short term scholarships that give a family an initial hand up until a job can be secured would help. I think with the current resources that are available to assist homeless shelters everywhere Genesis does a good job at taking what is given and using it to give opportunity to families to move forward with their lives. Over the years I have been struck by how people are quick to judge and criticize those who work with the issues of poverty suggesting that they are not doing it right or not doing enough. Now criticism does make us think. But criticism as a sole method of communication does not lead to solutions. It only discourages people from digging deeper into ways that they could be community and make a difference. I read the reviews that were previously written and I thought about all the homeless shelters that are judged insufficient and wondered what would happen if all those people who want to take away help chose to offer assistance, concrete assistance instead. It is always interesting to me how one negative review draws much more attention than all the statements of good. I do believe the work at Genesis A New Life is a 'work in progress.' I also believe that the organization that supports Genesis A New Life can be proud of the work that is being done and that continued support, encouragement and ideas can be useful to helping this needed and helpful work to grow and develop. I will continue to be positive about the work at Genesis A New Life and look for ways to help in this vital effort to provide a place where young families can find a new start.
How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
Will you recommend this organization to others?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
MY ROLE:Professional with expertise in this field