As part of DornCares’ goal of ending homelessness in the Quad Cities by 2020, Dorn Homes is partnering with three local charities that work within our community to support citizens that face poverty, home insecurity, or the risk of becoming homeless. In the coming weeks we’ll be highlighting each of the three charities here. We’ll explore their mission, their partnership with the DornCares program, as well as steps that members in the community can take to support these charities. In this edition of Community Focus we’ll be introducing you to the Coalition for Compassion and Justice.
The Coalition for Compassion and Justice(CCJ) provides vital services, education, and advocacy for those living in poverty. The primary mission of CCJ is to help put those living in poverty or at risk of living in poverty on the path to self-sufficiency and independence. Because financial insecurity takes many forms, CCJ provides a wide variety of services to the community. From the Daily Bread Café, which offers support for food insecure households as well as walk-in advocacy programs, to their Home Repair and Affordable Housing initiatives, CCJ is focused on more than just ending homelessness. CCJ is taking steps every day to help ensure that the most at-risk members of the community can live safe and healthy lives in their own homes.
In addition to their advocacy and preventative programs, CCJ provides shelter services to the community’s existing homeless population. The Little Treehouse, the organization’s “Families with Children” outreach,CCJ provides a friendly environment for children of all ages as well as a variety of services, including literacy programs for preschoolers, book reading, games, and a nook for older children as well. At The Little Treehouse, Parents can take the opportunity to receive food boxes, diapers, toiletries, assistance with online applications, access to work on GED courses, college classes, job search and resume building.
CCJ’s most intensive outreach program, Stagger Straight, is a Community Emergency Shelter that’s open year-round to house adult men and women. This is a safe place to sleep for their clients and a healthy community in which to seek forward movement in personal goals. CCJ’s Stagger Straight community participates in daily meaningful activities throughout the week with a variety of focuses including skill sets, seeking employment, housing options, furthering education, recovery meetings, volunteer opportunities and nutrition.
Through the collaboration between CCJ and DornCares, our homebuyers are helping to support the Stagger Straight program. In order to learn more about the effects of this collaboration, as well as other steps the community can take to end poverty, we’ve spoken with Jessi Hans from CCJ.
How does your partnership with DornCares help CCJ achieve its goals?
DornCares assists Stagger Straight in operating 365 nights a year. Within our emergency shelter, we provide a safe place to sleep and then go a step further by connecting with our guests. It's vital for the outreach that we always have people that able to connect, respond, advocate, and be a positive voice into the life of the most vulnerable.
Can you elaborate on the experiences of your Stagger Straight guests?
Each moment in Stagger Straight is an opportunity to support a group of people coming together in support of progress in life. This is truly seen moment to moment in so many ways. It's the person moving out into a home of their own, receiving assistance, sharing a meal, showing around a visitor, or, more recently, our guests planning their own Fourth of July BBQ. Watching a group of folks that have next to nothing come together to create a feast of grilled meats, fruit, salads, and much more is an indescribable experience laced with so much love and appreciation.
What can members of the community do to support the work of Coalition for Compassion and Justice?
Serving those in poverty and experiencing homelessness can come in so many forms. Partnering with CCJ through donations, big or small, are appreciated, of course. Taking your gently used items to our Thrift Store at 1034 Fair St and shopping while you are there supports our programs. Volunteering within our outreach efforts is not only a wonderful gift to us, but a tangible way to help others. Begin your own creative giving program within your business, church, or circle of friends. Instill in your kids that they have the ability to give as well!
It takes an entire community to accomplish this goal of ending homelessness in Prescott. We need your voice of support, your partnership, and help in educating about the realities of poverty. Together we can do great things!