And Why We Changed Our Name…
That single word rings loudly in our hearts and minds here at the shelter.
You see for us, working with the homeless population is about way more than helping someone find permanent housing. It’s about creating a safe place where they can catch their breath. Providing a community where they can have the confidence they need to look their circumstances square in the eye and be empowered to do the really hard work of change.
Because when we can help someone do that…they end up with so much more than stable housing. They end up reclaiming their entire lives.
They find freedom from homelessness. And that is what we all want.
Bringing the mission to life.
But claiming that freedom is hard work. The issues at the root of homelessness are big and hairy. That alone makes this work hard.
The good news is that we are fortunate to be within a community with amazing resources that make that process less scary. But those resources are scattered throughout the community. And for someone experiencing the crisis of homelessness figuring out where to go for what and then how to get there is just too much. So the cycle continues.
And that breaks our heart.
So, we started changing the way we thought about homelessness.
When someone comes to the shelter they will first find their immediate needs met…a warm bed, clean clothes, food to eat…so they can rest and take a breath.
And then we start making a plan.
Whether someone needs access to medical, dental, mental health or addiction services, or legal counsel, or employment training or something else entirely, we work with them to create a plan so they can see a path to healing.
But we don’t just leave them with a plan to follow. We walk alongside them through it helping with everything from making appointments to transportation to child care and everything in between.
With each step they start to realize they are so much stronger than they thought.
So why the new name?
Well, it’s simple. We wanted a name that matched our mission.
The Harmony House Homeless Services focused too much on providing shelter when we do so much more.
Our new name – Wayfinders Ohio – reflects the full mission to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness find their way to a life they are proud of.