By Vicki Browne, Micah Center Office Manager
As a former math teacher, numbers interest me. Statistics tell a story. When I started working at the Micah Center, I thought it was a busy place. Based on daily and monthly averages, it’s getting busier all the time. As a daytime resource for guests of St John’s, people who find themselves unstably housed, and past guests who want to stay connected to our ‘family’, the Micah Center provides vital connectivity and services.
When St John’s opens in November, I open a new spreadsheet to track our numbers. In November of 2018, 224 different people utilized services at the Micah Center. In November of 2019, 264 different people needed us. That’s close to an 18% increase. In December we saw a 30% increase from 2018 to 2019. And we’re already up 25% over last January. Some people just need a day to re-establish their footing, talk to a case manager, and get whatever they need to re-engage the process of finding stable housing. On average though guests need the Micah Center between five and seven days each month. The average number of visits stays constant, even though there are more people wanting/needing to connect with services.
The staff at the Micah Center is joined by volunteers who provide hospitality in a variety of ways. My early angels help get the place ready to welcome guests and visitors. Reception desk relief enables us to meet operational needs throughout the day. And our newest hospitality volunteers are able to sit with guests to be a caring friend in whatever way someone needs. The statistics in this area are awesome. In November of 2018, volunteers logged 42 hours at the Micah Center. In November of 2019, they logged 102 — almost three times as many hours. In January of 2019, volunteers spent 31 hours here. We have already surpassed this number in the first ten days of January 2020. If you chatted with these giving individuals, they would tell you that although some times are slow, most days are very busy. There is always something to do or someone to help.
There is no doubt that the Micah Center is vital for folks who are experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. Our case managers, volunteers, service providers, and revitalized workshop schedule are all focused on meeting the needs of everyone who walks through our doors. We are doing our best to make sure everyone leaves better than they came.
If you are interested in volunteering or have an idea for a workshop that you would like to offer, please contact us at 920 617-8700. Joan, Marlene, Debbie, or I will happily get you connected to staff members who can get you started!