Apparently we got some great coverage of the issue on WIVB (Channel 4 here in Buffalo). If they post the story online then we will post a link here.
Our 6 pm count is up to 625 surveys given. Of course there may be some duplicates in that number but we have some questions within the survey that will allow us to remove duplicate surveys.
We will be moving our headquarters soon to our overnight location. I’m not sure if we will have internet access there but at least our phones should work a little better. If we can possibly blog overnight then we will.
Coincidently a nice article was in today’s Buffalo News in on the editorial page. A “My View” article by Cindy Selden that mentions the Homeless Alliance.
My View Article
Many thanks to all of our volunteers and the wonderful people working at the service locations today that allowed us in. Most of all, thank you to all those who took time out of thier days today to answer some questions.
Hopefully we will have more later.
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We are in the 6th hour of the Survey; 18 more to go. So far, 381 surveys have been returned.
I went to St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy for their lunch service to administer surveys. I prefaced each survey by letting the respondents know that they didn’t have to answer any question they were not comfortable with. All were willng to answer the questions and provide stories about their experiences. One respondent added at the end of the survey that “he was glad to participate if it meant it would help others in his situation”.
A few of the respondents looked at me and asked “So, is this really going to help anything?” A perfectly reasonable question to ask, I think, particularly when a stranger is asking questions about you, your family, your home, your income, whether or not you have a mental illness, etc, and you want to know its for a good reason.
I told them “well, this information helps us know what kind of services are working and what service the community needs to improve to lift folks out of poverty and homelessness”. One man nodded thoughtfully and said “That’s good. I hope what I have to say helps.”
What he and the many others that are being surveyed today have to say is vital to the work of this community. There are some commnities that develop 10-year plans based on what lawmakers and administrators feel are the best solutions. This community is a part of a growing movement that advances its goals to end homelessness and develops programs and services from the grassroots, from the voice of low-income people. And that is why we are doing this survey today, why 200 volunteers have given their valueable time, why 70 service providers have agreed to let these volunteers administer surveys, and why so many respondents are willing to give their time and share their experiences. Because everybody wants to see a change.
- Devan DeCicco, Homeless Alliance Education Coordinator
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Posted in homeless on January 24, 2008 |
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So far so good. Of course we have had a couple of miscommunications but when you are dealing with over 70 locations and 200 volunteers you will have these kinds of hiccups. All in all, we are very pleased.
Rich Newberg from Channel 4 is supposed to be coming by our headquarters shortly to talk to Bill and Laila from the staff.
Surveys are starting to roll back in. We don’t have a total back in yet. But so far our survey numbers look good. The report back from volunteers is that the survey is going over well with respondants and that the volunteers are learning alot. Some volunteers have said that they were a little nervous about administering the survey. When they talk to homeless and at-risk persons, they realize what we say all the time, that those who are homeless and at risk are our brothers, and sisters, parents, neighbors, and friends. No different than anyone else.
We’ll blog again soon.
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The first group of surveys are out. It was exciting to see so many volunteers heading out into the community to begin the surveys.
Right now we are conducting surveys at Living Opporunities of DePaul, Cornerstone Manor, the Buffalo City Mission, AIDS Community Sevices, Buffalo General Hospital, the VA Drop in Center, the Department of Social Services, the Rental Assistance Program, the Salvation Army Shelter, and Spectrum Services. Beginning in a half hour we will begin surveying in a number of other locations.
We are operating out of our suvey headquarters at the United Way (thank you!) so our office phone is forwarded to a couple of cell phones. The phone has been ringing off the hook but our basement headquarters doesn’t have great reception so we keep having to head into the hallway to talk.
We have already had calls from volunteers asking that we bring them more surveys. That is great news!
It is great to live in such a great community with so many great volunteers and such an incredible community spirit!
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