From the Desk of the President/CEO
Olive Branch Mission will remain on the frontlines of serving the needs of homeless, hurting individuals for another 150 years. Our strength and our renewal of commitment is born from the necessity of our services. We are a viable, needed and necessary resource in the city of Chicago. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to live without housing within a society of abundance. The number of elderly people, women, and children among the homeless is increasing. Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Homelessness is a reality in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Millions of people exist on the perilous edge of homelessness. Homelessness concerns people, human beings deserving a life of respect and dignity.
The story of each homeless person is unique. The name, the circumstances, the decisions, the hope, the delights, and sorrows of each belong to precious individuals. Becoming homeless is often triggered by a crisis in a person's life. The crisis might be related to the availability of affordable housing, loss of employment or under employed. It might be associated with medical issues, mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, life style choices, or natural disasters. In facing the crisis, persons may not receive the needed familial, communal support, or financial assistance to keep them from losing their housing. Once without a permanent dwelling, individuals often experience a downward spiral in their lives.
La Forice Nealy
Being homeless is being without… without shelter, without resources, without support, without recognition, without power. Being homeless is lacking a permanent place to stay warm and dry, a place to feel secure a private space. Simple survival becomes a fulltime, humiliating task. People who are homeless often lose their sense of self-worth and their hope for the future. They feel cut-off and alienated from the rest of society. The homeless population is so diverse hence no one solution is going to be valid for the whole population. The realities vary from place to place. Adequate housing is needed for humane living. Educational programs can help us to understand better our personal and public responsibility for homelessness.
At Olive Branch Mission we look at the whole individual. We take a holistic approach to serving the needs of our clients by offering more than “three hots and a cot” we provide the opportunity for comprehensive case management to every client. Whatever caused their homelessness will be addressed. We ask that you partner with us in our endeavor to care for the most vulnerable, hurting individuals among us. Your generosity of your resources makes a difference. A difference… literally between life and death.