Your donations help us make a shelter a home, and we thank you for providing the support we need to run programs like our points system incentive program.
With a mission-driven process of fostering independence and offering positive reinforcement, the program staff at Genesis Home are utilizing donated goods to incentivize and generate excitement around goal achievement. While we will continue to use donated items to furnish our family suites and help our graduates in their new homes, we are offering basic necessities to our current families in a “points system” incentive program.
Here is how it works:
We sort donations as they arrive and set aside the items we need for incoming families. The needs of a new family are the top priority. When a family moves in, our case managers advise our staff of the family size, and the room is completely set up for them with items such as towels, bedding, toiletries and cleaning supplies. We call this our “Welcome Wagon.”
Items that are not needed immediately for new families are set up in a “store” and a point value is assigned to each item. Toothpaste may be 10 points while a set of single sheets could be 300 points.
When Genesis Home families move in, they work with their case manager to set long term goals that are broken down into weekly goals. We believe in rewarding hard work and recently our staff built a point system to recognize accomplishment. Points can be acquired in categories such as Finance and Asset Building, Parenting, Personal, and Community. The points within each category are directly linked to overarching goals we have for our families. Even the children can be involved. Every school-age child must take part in our after school tutoring program. Points will be awarded to the children for their academic accomplishments and they will be able to spend their bonus points on donated books, toys or games. Once points are acquired, our clients can go shopping in our “store” to spend their points on family necessities.
Nearly three years ago I had the privilege of meeting Danielle, a single mother who had a young daughter and was pregnant with her second child. When she arrived at Genesis Home, Danielle didn’t have much. She had no job, no car, no support system and no idea how she would support her children. What she did have was a strong determination to make a better life for her family.
With support from her Genesis Home Family Services Coordinator and the Durham Circles of Support program, Danielle was empowered to harness that determination and achieve her goals. Today, she has a full-time permanent job with benefits, reliable transportation and stable housing.
Your support is what has helped Genesis Home empower families like Danielle’s. Thanks to you, we are able to provide a warm, caring and safe environment to every family who walks through our doors. I have seen first-hand the impact you make on our families through the money and time you have given. Our parents receive the guidance they need to make better financial and health decisions; our children receive the tutoring they need to make better grades.
From furnishing family suites to buying bus passes for job interviews, every dollar you donate makes an immediate impact. I urge you to continue supporting our efforts by making another donation this year or by volunteering your time. We are grateful to have you as a partner in our efforts to help end homelessness, one family at a time.
Your support helps us empower our families to move toward a life of stability. In 2012, Genesis Home served a total of 42 homeless families, 37 of which had women as the head of the household. Additionally, we served a total of 93 children: 43 were from the ages of 0-5, 23 from 6010 and 27 were 11 or older.
Below is a story from Andrea, a Genesis Home graduate, who tells us how the programs helped her family:
“If someone had told me that I would end up in a homeless shelter, I would have said they were crazy. I came to Genesis Home directly from the Crisis Center. My prayer while I was in the battered women’s shelter was: Lord, give me a place to go where I won’t have the sole responsibility of taking care of myself, because I need a place of refuge and solace to rebuild my life. That is what I found at Genesis Home, an opportunity to heal. It wasn’t a handout; it was a step up.
“With emotional and mental abuse, you don’t know how bad it is until after you’ve left the abusive situation. I was timid and terrified of everything. I had to believe that I could start a new life, but when you have lost your confidence for so long that seems impossible. I had been slowly dying, breathing in and breathing out, but not living, just making myself go through the motions of taking care of a house and family. I was invisible. My daughters tell me I smile more now. That is because I am not hurting.
“I would not be where I am today without Genesis Home. I needed the time to process, grow and heal. I learned to take small steps, set goals and then take the next small steps and reach those goals. I learned to believe I could rise above the situation that had placed me here. Now as I rediscover myself and come back to life, I like the new me. I am on my way to a better life."
After 14 months at Genesis Home, Andrea worked as a part-time substitute teacher and a receptionist caring for her daughters in their new home. Her journey is just one of the stories you would hear if you spoke to the families and children living at Genesis Home. Our families are rebuilding their lives every day and are working with trained staff to find their way to a brighter future.