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No Cookie-Cutter Solutions to Homelessness

If you have been following our 2022 End of Year Campaign, you are familiar with our gingerbread mascot. If you’re just tuning in or would like a refresher, Gingie has been our champion in raising $35,000 by the end of the year in honor of Willis Dady’s 35th anniversary. Gingie represented a client working to secure safe, stable housing. With each generous donation, Gingie’s goal became within reach. We are pleased to announce that Gingie has reached his housing, as we’ve reached our $35,000 goal! Thank you to those who have supported and continue to support our campaign! While Gingie has reached his first goal, his journey to stability has just begun.

Gingie’s journey with Willis Dady started as a recently evicted client sleeping in his car. As the cold winter temperatures continued to drop, he knew there had to be another way. One day while warming up in the library, he met one of Willis Dady’s Library Navigators. The Navigator offered to help Gingie apply for assistance and explained how the local shelter system works. With the encouragement of The Navigator, Gingie contacted Shelter Services to secure a shelter bed. Gingie was placed in Willis Dady’s Emergency Shelter. Throughout his time at the shelter, he met regularly with his Shelter Case Manager. This case manager empowered Gingie to create an individualized plan to help him reach his goals of finding and maintaining stable housing. Gingie was referred to Rapid Re-Housing where he was assigned a Housing Case Manager who could hone in on his housing goals. Gingie was ecstatic to receive your support in securing housing.

Even after a client moves into housing, their case management continues for a time. One month during his check in with his Housing Case Manager, Gingie vented about his hours at work being cut. He was no longer making a livable wage and was worried about not being able to pay his rent. His Housing Case Manager was able to put him in contact with Willis Dady’s Employment Services Director. This Director was able to coach Gingie on talking to his supervisor about his hours. Through this conversation, Gingie learned his supervisor was cutting his hours due to several uniform violations. Gingie, who didn’t understand why this was a problem, was frustrated and confused. Through employment readiness workshops with the Employment Services Director, Gingie was coached on having tough conversations and was able to maintain stable employment. His supervisor has recognized this change in Gingie, and has told him there is a potential promotion at the end of the year if his work ethic continues in a positive trajectory. He’s hopeful he could be seeing a wage increase in time for the new year!

It is only because of you that Willis Dady is able to provide Homeless Prevention, Street Outreach, Shelter, Housing, and Employment services. Will you donate today to support clients like Gingie through individualized case management? We are looking to raise additional funds by the end of the year, bringing our goal to $75,000. There are no cookie-cutter solutions to homelessness, and Gingie is just one example of the path a client could take. Please consider donating today at www.willisdady.org/nocookie-cuttersolutions, or by sending a cash/check donation to 1247 4th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids IA 52403.