When counselors Dorsol Plants, David Brabham, and Neal Lampi learned that the day center at the Family & Adult Service Center was in danger of closing due to a lack of funding, they took action. "The people who come here have no other place to go," explains Plants. "We knew we couldn't let the doors just shut."
The team began collecting statements from their guests and submitting these to city officials to highlight the critical services provided. They also organized volunteers and supporters to contact City Council and advocate for funding. Their efforts resulted in the program's inclusion in the proposed 2009 city budget. If the funding -- just a portion of the operating costs -- makes it through the budget process, the center will raise the rest itself.
Visited by 300-350 people experiencing homelessness each day, the center is a place to take showers, use the laundry services, have a meal, and get counseling. It "allows people to meet in a safe place and work on goals such as employment, housing, health and legal issues," says Lampi. "This place offers hope and community."