Interesting Info About BAHS
Two New Case Managers Take Key Positions at BAHS
Coni Serrano, a veteran social services employee (pictured above) has taken the reins at the Britton-Fuller Center following the resignation of Siedah Atherley. Ms. Serrano had joined BAHS three years ago following employment at a number of local and regional nonprofits.
Coni will be responsible for the case management duties for the BFC clients, day-to-day operation and maintenance of the building. Coni will report directly to Program Director Marianne Jackson.
Shannon Falk (See Picture in Employment Services) , has assumed the role of Case Manager for the Emergency Shelter. Under the direct supervision of the Program Manager, Shannon will be responsible for case management, report development and operation of the two shelter dormitories. Shannon will also share volunteer recruitment duties with Marianne Jackson, and teach the Employment Services class modules. Shannon is a MSW candidate at Walden University, and will be with us until at least February, 2018.
Executive Director's Message
August We Celebrate Our Great Volunteers
There is an increasingly hard truth in the world of nonprofit funding. Funders, grantors and donors are beginning to focus solely on the outcomes associated with their funding. Because of this, more dollars need to be devoted to "service" and "programs" while fewer dollars can be allocated to administrative or personnel costs. This places a significant burden on smaller, innovative and successful nonprofits like Bay Area Homeless Services.
Fortunately for us, we have a dedicated and growing group of volunteers providing both general and skilled services to our clients. These folks help us keep operating expenses as low as possible while increasing the level of opportunities available to our increasing client population. This year, we celebrated two interrelated milestones, the first year anniversary of the Britton-Fuller Center for intact homeless families, and the first Volunteers of the Year awards.
As you can imagine, doubling client capacity while not increasing staff, is a significant feat. And, it could not have been possible without our fabulous volunteers providing a wide range of services to our clients and staff. Skilled services truly benefit our clients with severe obstacles to employment and housing. Our collaboration with BeaconLaw, using volunteer attorneys from ExxonMobil, has assisted many clients to overcome issues which prevented access to both housing and employment, obtained needed legal remedies, and cleared discrepancies. Covestro provided CPR/First Aid training to all staff. Woodforest Bank provides volunteers monthly to conduct mock interviews for our Employment Services Program participants.
However, it's the "individual" volunteer we focused on when choosing our Volunteers of the Year. These two folks have steadily contributed their time for a total of 15 years to our clients. Please see our new Volunteer page to read more about these outstanding individuals and their contributions to BAHS.
Individuals and service organizations provide the bulk of the time volunteered to our agency. In 2016 we had more than 150 volunteers contribute 1918 hours to help our clients. Tasks ranged from sorting donations, administrative help, work details, landscape services and even sewing and donating decorative pillow cases for our clients as they exit the shelter.
We value, and celebrate all of our precious volunteers and could not provide our expanding level and quality of services we have at BAHS without their constant support. Words cannot express our gratitude to each and every volunteer, service organization and corporation who helps us meet our mission to assist our neighbors in need. To show our gratitude we have designed and added a website page dedicated to our great volunteers and the services they provide for our clients…..please take time to visit our new Volunteer page.
FUN FACT: Did you know that we have 13 very involved community members on our Board of Trustees who meet every month and each of them is a VOLUNTEER !
And please visit our “Current Needs” list on this website.
A successful nonprofit organization cannot thrive without a concerned, dynamic Board of Directors. When the Board fails, the nonprofit follows suit and often fails as well. Historically, boards fail because of a lack of involvement. This lack of involvement usually takes two paths. In the first instance, a nonprofit reaches out to "name recognized" board candidates. Usually, these high profile candidates have no ties to either the community or the mission of the non-profit. Their commitment to the nonprofit is solely their name value. In the second instance boards allow themselves to stagnate and treat board meetings as "business as usual".
One staff member recently commented that she had worked with other nonprofits and knew what problems grew out of Board apathy and lack of direction, she added "I'm grateful to be working here because I know that the Board is fully involved".
Board members also contribute their time by participating in random unannounced shelter visitations and serving on various subcommittees designed to strengthen the agency's long-term growth potential. They participated in a planned retreat last year designed to sharpen focus on growing the agency to meet our ever-increasing community need. As the results from that retreat were so positive, another was scheduled for February of this year.
Bay Area Homeless Services is fortunate because it is led by an experienced Board of Directors who do not fall into either of the categories listed above. They are, instead, primarily motivated by the mission of the organization, to assist people to become self-sufficient in these tough times. And, they are committed to the point of being true contributors to the cause. Each board member has contributed financially to the agency since the beginning of 2013, supporting our record-breaking "Mane Event" fundraiser, and greatly contributing to the much-needed Building Hope capital campaign which has led to our new (and beautiful) Brritton-Fuller Center for intact homeless families.
BAHS is fortunate to have this current group of community leaders serve on its board, and guide its future growth.