2016, the past year...
Many things occurred in 2016 in our community that reflect directly on the work we do here at TLC and we want to be very attentive to them, be part of them as we may and effect positive change when able and asked. The Mayor’s Commission on Poverty report was released from a group headed by Dan Jurman, and while it did not shock those of us on the ground level (we are immersed in this daily), the report certainly put things in perspective and shows us how far we have come and how much farther we MUST go as a community. Critical change is never easy, but it is impossible if one does not have a starting point. We, along with many, hope that is what the report provided. We must coalesce around one another and listen, plan and move forward together to work on poverty as an issue in our community.
The Lancaster City Alliance’s 15 year initiative/plan is another milestone begun in 2016. At Tabor and TLC we are part of the East King Corridor and very much interested in the growth of the corridor but also in making sure ethnicity and diversity is respected. It is imperative that affordable housing and socio-economics be at the forefront of any development plans that are considered as we move forward. While, it would be easy to say we are just a homeless shelter and that is the only thing we care about, I believe that to be short-sighted. We have always at TLC, attempted to take a more holistic and comprehensive view of needs and gaps in systems. As we exit over 250 people a year into Lancaster, these issues are paramount to their success and in turn their contributions back to the city. A new group of legislators were elected in Harrisburg and we will be quite anxious to watch how the politicians wade through the budget process. We certainly would hope to see no impasse at the expense of social service organizations, who serve the most vulnerable of those in need.
Change is the only constant we know to expect entering any year, and 2017 will not be different. We are already seeing changes coming for our Veterans’ Victory House, not in the elimination of any VVH rooms, but programmatically. Other programming is sure to be reviewed and refined as we continue to serve the needs of the community and the Coalition to End Homelessness. Also, internally, we are initiating an Advisory Committee for TLC, to help us make sure we are responding to those needs and listening to the feedback of our volunteers and donors.
In our physical location at TLC, we had the outside of the building painted and will continue to explore ways to maintain the 100 block of East King Street’s charm, while still maintaining functionality for our building. We are doing an intensive examination of our 100 plus year old building to make sure we are equipped for the next 10-15 years to serve those needing our services.
Finally, a thanks to all of you who have supported us in the past year, 2016. Through your giving of time and sharing of your talents and treasures we served over 250 individuals and 100 children, not to mention the countless folks we help that do not even reside with us. We simply could not do this without your support. We will look forward in 2017 to continuing those relationships with you and expanding our network of “Friends of TLC.”
I close by offering you an invitation to reach out to me personally, email@example.com or 717-397-0156, with any comments, suggestions or questions you may have. Please feel to schedule or stop in for a visit and tour of our space. We would enjoy showing you around and having a meaningful conversation about all we do at 105 East King. We don’t look like much from the outside, but when you walk through our building and witness what is being done here, you quickly understand how we are assisting 100 individuals, including 40 children on a daily basis, as they work toward their goal of permanent housing.
Have a blessed, healthy and productive 2017!