How can we serve more people in Jackson County?
Over the past eight months, our JCHFH staff and board have worked diligently to identify critical needs in the community. We decided that we needed to better align ourselves with the community needs by building capacity as an organization. In October 2017, the JCHFH Board of Directors spent an entire Saturday devoted to organizational strategic planning. Below is what resulted from that planning.
Number One: What services can we enhance to make a larger impact in Jackson County? The answers are Home Preservation, Critical Home Repair, and Home Accessibility. Three programs are being developed to assist existing homeowners to live more safely and comfortably in their homes. There is a critical need for handicap ramps and other accessibility tools for residents in Jackson County. Since launching this program in the fall we have completed five ramps and one set of handrails for homeowners in Jackson County. This spring we started our Home Preservation and Critical Home Repair programs. Projects could include painting a home all the way to adding a new roof. The goal is always to create a better quality of life for Jackson County residents. For more information on these programs please contact Stacey, email@example.com
Our repair services will have similar guidelines and qualifications as our New Homeowner program. Participants will still be required to pay for the materials or at least a portion, and provide sweat equity. Sweat equity for these programs will include financial and homeowner counseling. Our goal is not to simply provide a service but to truly educate and uplift homeowners in Jackson County. The qualifications remain the same, ability to pay, willingness to partner, overall need.
Number Two: These initiatives are not taking the place of our New Homeowner program, but rather adding to it. We have committed to increasing new homeownership by building five new homes over the next three years. There is a huge need for work-force housing in Jackson County. While five homes will not accommodate the growing population it is a step in the right direction. In 2016, Jackson County had a reported Median Income of $54,246 and 21,115 households. Of the 21,115 households, 9,537 are living below the median income for the county. Homeownership leads to increased financial stability and greater opportunities. By increasing the available work-force housing we are increasing the impact on the local economy.
Number Three: How are we going to carry out these programs? In order to get the programs developed and the work completed, an increase in staff was the only answer. A part-time Construction Manager was hired in January to assist in growing our new Repair and Accessibility initiatives. Having someone dedicated to these projects ensures program effectiveness and safety for volunteers. In addition, our affiliate was awarded a federal grant through HUD, in April, to hire a full-time Family Services Manager. This new position will ensure that we are actively serving Jackson County residents to the best of our abilities. That means selecting qualifying participants and educating them in the areas of financial responsibility, homeownership, and community awareness.
People are the mission. Our safe housing initiatives are a vehicle for helping people. With a growing mission, growing Jackson County, and growing staff, we are so excited to be serving you! Every One needs a place to call home. For us, Jackson County is our home.
If you are interested in learning more about our upcoming projects or ways to help please contact Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org.