Job Match Expands Services…continued
“Sometimes people find work even though we haven’t found a match,” Tina explained. “One man was so excited about the program that after we developed his resume and cover letter, he handed out 30 of them all over Ashland. In five days he had two interviews and in just six days he had a job.”
In addition to her Job Match role, Tina wears two other hats at the center. One of the others is titled “senior resource navigator.” In this role she is responsible for finding resources — counselors, sister agencies, legal advice, in short, the right resource fit for the individual in crisis. The process begins when she interviews someone through an “intake form.” She says that the fact that she understands people’s history is often helpful in finding them the right fit in a job.
Tina started working at the center in 2014 as an intern while she was a student at Southern Oregon University. She has since graduated with a degree in Human Services. At first she thought the most important part of her job would be understanding social services. “But instead I’ve learned the most important part is communicating. Whether I am working as the Job Match specialist or the senior resource navigator, I have to ask lots of questions to understand what people need — and we at ACRC and our partner agencies — can offer.” Other resource navigators, who use Tina as their lead resource, also perform this task as volunteers.
Which leads to Tina’s third “hat” — volunteer coordinator at ACRC. In this role she aligns the availability, interest and skills of potential volunteers with the center’s needs. If her enthusiasm is any indication, it’s a great place to work. “It is so rewarding when you work with someone and see how excited they become when they see new possibilities in their life.”
ACRC Hits Full Stride in 2015
OHRA and ACCESS, with startup funding from the City of Ashland, operate the Ashland Community Resource Center (ACRC) at the Masonic Lodge Annex, 572 Clover Lane, Ashland, Oregon. Hours are 9am-2pm weekdays. This program is partially funded through Ashland lodging tax revenues.
ACRC opened in February 2013 and hit full stride in 2015. Here is what it accomplished last year with the support of the community and many volunteers:
723 individuals were served, each in some degree of life stress: financial, emotional, mental and/or addition. (60% were homeless and 40% housed.
42 families were housed. Each previously living in a place not intended for permanent human habitation.
264 hours of mental health and/or drug and alcohol counseling were provided through ACRC’s network of social agencies and supported by ACRC’s case work.
14 individuals were employed through Job Match, a newly implement program between OHRA and the City of Ashland. Program began in September 2015.
6,175 visits were logged at the center, whose goal is to provide a safe, hospitable environment that fosters healing. Many guests require multiple visits prior to accepting services.
Read about an ACRC guest who became a volunteer and is now returning to full-time work: http://www.dailytidings.com/article/20160222/NEWS/160229983
Referral services take advantage of the many connections ACCESS and OHRA have with other social service organizations, and include housing, food, clothing, mental health, legal aid, addiction counseling, job readiness training, employment guidance, medical care, education, home loan modification assistance, and financial counseling.
ACCESS case managers and trained OHRA volunteer case managers make referrals appropriate to the needs of each client, and follow up with the client and collaborating agencies to maximize results.
Space permitting, collaborating agencies are welcome to meet with clients at the ACRC.
The ACRC now offers Ashland Job Match, which connects low income and homeless individuals in the community with businesses and individuals looking for hard workers. The goal is to provide people with work experience that helps them to build their resumes, obtain references and set them on a pathway to securing a more stable job position. Visit Ashland Job Match to participate or learn more.
Thanks to a very generous donation, ACRC services now include a retired US Forest Service trailer with two showers, two washing machines, two dryers, and four sinks. The trailer offers free bathing and laundry services 1pm-4pm Tuesdays at the the United Methodist Church (corner of Laurel and Main) and 1:30pm-4:30pm Thursdays at the Ashland Emergency Food Bank next door to the ACRC on Clover Lane.
Volunteers are needed to staff both the main office and the shower trailer. Background checks and training will be provided. To learn more, contact ACRC’s Volunteer Coordinator Tina Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org.