HELP -- FOR SOUTHEAST PORTLAND "FAMILIES IN CRISIS"
Southeast Portland Rotary, in addition to its other community giving programs, originated a unique and original assistance program for the families of schoolchildren in Inner Southeast Portland, through the compassion and efforts of club member Art Johnstone and his wife, and honorary member, Terri Johnstone -- "Families In Crisis".
The program provides targeted one-time-only assistance, often financial assistance, to families in crisis -- for whom such one-time assistance is all that is needed to resolve their crisis, and only after all other more conventional sources of assistance have been exhausted.
The program works through specified elementary and middle schools in Inner Southeat Portland, and specifically through the counselor at those schools.
A description of the "Families In Crisis" program follows...
"FAMILIES IN CRISIS" HELP PROGRAM Established 2008
To provide help on a one-time-only basis, to temporarily-distressed families in Southeast Portland school neighborhoods.
Working relationships with principals and counselors from elementary and middle schools in Southeast Portland who can identify real need and refer families. These 14 schools Include: Arleta, Atkinson, Bridger, Clark, Glencoe, Grout, Kelly, Lane, Lent, Lewis, Marysville, Whitman, Woodmere, and Woodstock.
Offering assistance to families experiencing a catastrophe that could have permanent impact on the family. Examples include: fire, flood, accident, death, health issues, theft, temporary job loss, and children at risk. School personnel cannot judge or screen applications, but when presented with a valid and reasonable need situation, they can refer the family to the Families in Crisis Help Program.
As school personnel become aware of a situation involving a family in need, they can inform the family of this program, and provide the family with referral information (phone and application form). Confidentiality is protected.
School staff will recommend (this referral is required) that the family call the Families in Crisis Help Program, and may choose to sit with the family member while the family member makes the call.
The family member completes the application and sends it to the Families in Crisis program.
Currently, Art and Terri Johnstone will review applications, talk with the family, and evaluate the most appropriate assistance. The oversight committee is then notified of the request, and responds with questions, ideas, and a yes or no vote.
Assistance provided by the Program could come in the following forms:
1. Physically assist with labor, time and materials.
2. Provide funds to aid financially Funds never given to recipient, but directly to the vendor.
3. Assist with finding referrals to other agencies or organizations that can help.
Recipients will be encouraged to "Pay-it-Forward" by acting as a resource via time, skills an/or labor, in the future for other "families in crisis".
This completed form should include a clear explanation of need, signature of applicant acknowledging it is a one-time only help and encouraging the applicant to be willing to help other families in the future. Additionally, it will include Rotarian committee members' signatures and assistance forwarded or an explanation of denial and alternative source of help suggested.