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Kim

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GOOD SAMARITAN MINISTRIES
December 14, 2009

I have worked with GSM for about 10 years and during that time, I have seen so many people that have been assisted. Many of those who were in need were saved from homelessness and hunger. GSM is a great place and the staff is caring and considerate. They treat thier clients with dignity and try to aid when necessary.

The Great!

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

client assistance results

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they truly care about their clients and they show each client dignity and respect

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very nice people who truly care about people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

assist more people than any agency in the Tri-Cities area. This agency does twice as much as the JC agencies with limited funds.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Social Worker.

APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COALITION ON HOMELESSNESS INC
November 17, 2009

According to an article in the JC Press the Appalachian Regional Commission on Homelessness (ARCH) was awarded a 540,000 grant for two years through The American Recovery and Investment Act (tax dollars). The Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program kicked off on October 1, 2009 and supposedly has helped hundreds of families in our area according to the article. The program is housed in the eight Neighborhood Service Centers in eight North East TN counties. All clients must call their local Neighborhood Service Center in order to get an appointment. In order to qualify for this program eligible participants must be homeless or about to become homeless and undergo an initial consultation to determine assistance, have income of 50% or less of the Area Median Income, have no other housing options, or have financial resources or support networks to obtain or remain in housing. Before this Grant was awarded, ARCH was not a service agency and depended on the established service agencies in our area to aid clients that needed assistance. These agencies such as Good Samaritan Ministries, Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities, were already seeing the same clients that are now being serviced by ARCH. These established agencies could have better used this money to service more clients because they already had the staff in place, a facility, and were already seeing this population of clients. The staffs at these established agencies were already trained for this type of case management services. Some of these agencies had already received ESG monies in the past which is similar to the funding now being used. I think this is a duplication of services and that tax dollars are again being wasted on new staff and operational expenses for ARCH when the money could have been given to an established agency that had staff an operational expenses already in place. Also, if you call the Washington County Neighborhood Service Center and try to get an appointment with ARCH, the number is either busy or you can’t get an appointment for at least a month and a half. The reason being is that they only see three to four clients a week at this location and they see clients only ½ of a day per week. The next available appointment is near January 2010. How many clients will be homeless or without utilities while waiting for ARCH to give them an appointment? How many case managers are they paying to see three clients ½ day per week? The excuse I was given is that the case managers have to inspect new apartments and can only see clients ½ a day one day per week. I think this program should have been more carefully planned. This is just another waste of tax dollars just like the Shelter + Care Program where you get shelter but not much care (case management). As bad as things are for this country at the present, I think that this money could have been spent in a better and more efficient manner. Now I have been told that ARCH is now soliciting area Churches and businesses for funding. How much money do they need to pay their employees? Why take money from established Charities that are seeing 100+ clients a week to give to an agency that sees 12 clients per month. I hope ARCH is telling these Churches and businesses the truth about how many clients they are serving. I happened to be at an area Church when one of their reps came by and believe me, ½ of what he was saying was not the truth and the other ½ he did not know the answers to when asked. ARCH really needs to do what it did the best and refer clients to agencies that are experienced in handling clients. I think that Good Samaritan Ministries has been serving these at risk clients for over 20 years and according to their newsletter, they only use 11% of their funding for salaries and operational expenses. Salvation Army has been around for a while also and they are also well established with handling homeless clients or those about to become homeless. Catholic Charities is in the emergency services and transitional housing business. I am just saying that if you have agencies already in place that can do the work, let them do the work. STOP wasting money that me and millions of others have worked for and paid into tax dollars. Anyone reading this letter, if you donate to charities, give to those that are established and have open 1099’s on file that you can access. Give only to charities that have a proven record and that truly help those in need. You work hard for your money; see that it goes where it will do the most good. Let’s keep our charity donations here in our community and not throughout eight counties. Those in our community that have been laid off, working for a low wage, or who are ill and can’t work deserve good service from an established agency. I researched all of this and it can be found online at these agencies websites, THDA website, HUD website, JC Press archives or you can call the Neighborhood Service Center and verify how long an appointment will take.

The Great!

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

never. This organization is a joke!

Ways to make it better...

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

Close it down

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

none

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incompetent

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

increase the wages of its incompetent employees and could waste more money

Ways to make it better...

I had stayed away from ARCH

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

incompetence and wastefullness

One thing I'd also say is that...

give your money and time to proven agencies in our community that have been here for awahile and have a proven track record assisting clients and who are not out to benefit themselves or their board members

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public & looked for information.