OPEN DOOR AND NEXT DOOR SHELTERS
December 1, 2009
What I love about this organization is its flexibility to meet the changing needs of the community, and its responsiveness to guests. For example, OD/ND has shifted focus form solely providing shelter to addressing the issue of affordable housing for the working poor. People with minimum wage/ no benefits jobs have difficulty affording market rate housing. OD/ND has piloted a residential program that allows working people to rent at affordable rates, while also providing follow-on services and a sense of community and support. The biggest challenge for OD/ND may be its size. The small size of the organization allows for flexibility, responsiveness and creativity. It has a veery grassroots feel. But there are limits to what a small staff can do. Growth could lead to more housing units, but could put distance between staff and guests.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
the unique way of problem-solving. Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue, so OD/ND has developed different strategies for helping guests. Staff can help with job skills, budgeting, support for sobriety, even housing referrals.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every six months
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Former staff & Former shelter staff (2 years) former board member (1 year).