Critical Need Alert

Critical Need Alert – A Message from Becky Westerfelt

A message from executive director – Becky Westerfelt

In Central Ohio, we are fortunate to have the leadership of The Columbus Foundation when it comes to research and resources to address the critical needs of our community. Over the past several months, I have worked with representatives of the Columbus Foundation and other youth serving organizations to find meaningful strategies to help homeless youth and improve early childhood education.

Today, the Columbus Foundation announced a Critical Need Alert. The goal is to raise $1.5 million for “Our Kids” in 45 days to benefit the work of Huck House and five other organizations.

How will Huckleberry House use resources generated by The Columbus Foundation over the next six weeks?

Many youth in our community are unstably housed; they are couch surfing, moving among family members until they are 18, or generally don’t know where they will sleep night to night.  Huckleberry House will expand options for those youth. We will invest in our work to identify young people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness to link them with housing provided by Huckleberry House and other community agencies. Some youth who are successful in independent living could easily fall behind without support. We will help those young people reduce the risk of future homelessness with a few months of rent and light case support.

The spirit of “Our Kids” demands that we invest in all the children in our community. Thank you for your continued support of our important work.

Becky

PSD nominees

The Paul S. Davis Service Award

PSD nominees

The Paul S. Davis Service Award is given to a Huck House employee who exemplifies the core values of our agency and demonstrates practice distinction. A committee of peers looks for workers whose practice rises well above expectations and reflects Huck House’s commitment to youth and their families. The award was named for Paul Davis, a current Huck House worker who routinely demonstrates best practice. His response to a crisis, his consistency with his clients, and his support of his co-workers were chosen as the standards of Huck House excellence.

The words and phrases used to describe a Paul S. Davis award winner include authenticity, setting a good example, follow through, patience, positive attitude, well rounded, mature, flexible, creative, attention to detail, good boundaries, seeing the big picture, team-oriented, high character, sincere, empathetic, supportive, and in tune with surroundings.

Quarterly award winners are recognized at All Staff meetings. Of the quarterly recipients, one award winner is selected for recognition at the annual Huck House Youth Awards Dinner.

This month, 12 staff members were nominated and recognized at our quarterly all staff meeting. As we hear so often, these individuals go ABOVE AND BEYOND to serve youth. We thought we’d tell you about each of the nominees.

  • Kenosha Hines, Parenting Mentor – “She gives our young people insight to help them understand the bigger picture; she gives them the tools to increase parenting skills.”
  • Amanda Glauer, Manager Transitional Living Program – “She always approaches me in a sincere and supportive manner and offers authentic guidance.”
  • Chinoso Ogojiaku, Crisis Intervention Specialist – “He brings a positive and welcoming vibe to the house. He has quality engagements with the youth. When it comes to conflict resolution, Chinoso approaches the situation calmly and patiently.”
  • Tiffany Hazlett, Transitional Living Apartment Manager – “Her approach with clients to help them thrive is perfect. She helps them to see their gains but pushes them in a way that makes them want to keep pushing.”
  • Andie Ruggles, Family Support Counselor – “Andie is compassionate, a team player, and makes young people feel comfortable. I am thankful that he is flexible and puts our youth first.”
  • Tiffany Ramos, Community Support Assistant – “Tiffany is great at following through and setting good examples for our young people. She always has a smile and a sincere approach to staff and youth.”
  • Erica Schnitz, Family Support Counselor – “Erica communicates effectively with staff and always sees the bigger picture of our young people. She has created good rapport with young people.”
  • Michelle Jordan, Family Support Counselor – “Michelle is so genuine in her approach; she is able to keep her clients engaged in the healing process so they can feel better.”
  • Dalia Gheith, Crisis Intervention Specialist – “Dalia is consistently, infectiously positive. She holds genuine caring conversations with staff and youth about how they are doing. She is an incredible influence in the house.”
  • David Parish, Community Support Assistant – “He consistently provides positive support even with super active toddlers! He sees how this plays a role in the clients’ growth and healing. He brings a sens of calm to the Transitional Living Program.”
  • Donald Gore, Community Support Assistant – “Donald can often be found with a baby in his arms talking to someone about current stressors or progress toward their goals. I admire his compassion and comfortable approach to supporting young people.”
  • Shawmeen Hendersion, administration – “Shawmeen is one of the most patient people at Huck House. She is the definition of “attention to detail.” Much of what she does can easily go unnoticed but I know many of us appreciate her contributions.”

Huck House is an amazing place because of the incredible people who are committed to helping youth get to the lives they picture for themselves.

becky-westerfelt-sm

How do we solve youth homelessness?

“We have to integrate fundamental change in our systemic approach to a number of things like education, like poverty,” Huckleberry House’s executive director Becky Westerfelt told the audience attending a panel discussion, “The Unexpected Face of Homelessness: Teens on the Street,” hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

During the discussion, Becky challenged attendees to start thinking of youth homelessness as the community’s issue and asked everyone to get involved.

In an effort to continue the theme of broader community engagement, we are holding a small open house/lunch at the Huck House crisis shelter for people who may be interested in thinking about how people not in the “system” can support the work. The framing question will focus on how to make it easier for kids to access help and how we use community resources to address youth homelessness. Read more

HH Alumni photo for FB

Huck House Alumni Event

HH Alumni photo for FB

 

In 47 years, many incredible people have walked through the doors of Huck House. Join us to reconnect with former staff, board members, and volunteers….

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Rooks Tavern, 195 Chittenden Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201

 

We want to hear from you, whether you are able to attend or not. Please take a moment to fill out this questionnaire.

If you would like to stop at Huck House to tour the shelter and carriage house, staff will be happy to greet you before or after the event. An RSVP is appreciated but not required. Contact Sonya Thesing, development director, at sthesing@huck-house.org or (614) 298-4103.

 

giving-tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday!

We hope you will consider making a gift to Huck House today. With the holiday season here, you’re gift can bring a much needed dose of comfort and joy to young people struggling to overcome some tough obstacles, like homelessness, abuse, and neglect. With your support, we can make the season a bit brighter, and we can help our community’s youth find the hope, resources, and support they need to set a new, positive direction for 2017.

Best wishes, the Huck House Team.

new-site-introduction

Introducing our New Site! And, Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and welcome to our new site! We are very proud to announce a revamp of our website, and we hope you enjoy the new look and feel. Please feel free to leave comments, as we would love to know what you think!

Have a beautiful day!