Happy New Year! We are celebrating the times we answered God’s call to love our neighbor as ourselves! While the pandemic continued to negatively impact the people we serve, we are grateful witnesses to hope-filled transformation in our communities.
Our staff gave out more food in 2021 than last year — which means those with the most critical need, including the elderly, received necessary nourishment during a traumatic time.
Federal funding also enabled us to expand our Emergency Assistance program; a blessing since twice as many families needed this type of assistance in 2021. Thousands of families received $417,960 of rent and utility assistance this year. We are grateful to alleviate this hardship for so many of our neighbors.
Our Case Managers were extra hard at work. Across the state, staff walked with 175 families striving to move out of poverty. Case Managers offer support and guidance; individuals do the hard work of setting and achieving goals unique to their situation. We integrated a Case Management mindset into more of our programs, including Emergency Assistance, Adult Education, and Relatives As Parents.
We are particularly humbled by our work with people struggling with Substance Use Disorder. Case Managers supported 508 people in recovery this year. With community support, they achieved extraordinary goals! For example, “Ellen” got her driver’s license back, completed her Recovery Coach course, and secured employment as a Peer Support Specialist — all while maintaining her own recovery. Ellen’s journey will have positive ripple effects across her community! We are inspired by her resilience.
Our Hospital Transition Program is a new initiative aimed at reducing the number of people who are re-admitted to the hospital after discharge. Clients are referred to us by hospital staff who use the Social Determinants of Health screening tool. So far, the program has been a resounding success with ZERO clients re-admitted within 60 days! Our Case Managers, Sister Jen and Stephanie, have worked with 60 people who were at risk of consecutive hospital stays.
Meanwhile, our Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services team worked with another vulnerable population. We welcomed six new refugees into West Virginia during the month of November! By definition, refugees are forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Our new neighbors hail from Uganda, Syria, and Eritrea. We are also expecting more arrivals from Uganda and Syria. During this Christmas Season, it is humbling to remember that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were also refugees. We are thrilled to help make West Virginia home to our newcomers!
This year of service has filled us with hope for the future. It’s an honor to serve each of our clients. We are grateful for your prayers and support as we live out this Mission of Love!