As usual, we saw slight dips in most utilization stats over the holidays… but unlike past years, our drop-in numbers went up (last year e.g., Dec/13, almost a 50% decline from previous month). In the past, there have usually been many special events over Christmas (e,g., community holiday meals).
Daily averages: Suppers 27, Lodgers: 8, Breakfasts: 12, Drop-in: 31
(Nov/14: Suppers 28, Lodgers: 8, Breakfasts: 13, Drop-in: 28)
Unique guests: 569 (31% female) 10 new in Dec/14
Since Dec 15/12: 203 unique lodgers (59 male, 44 female)
‘Pay It Forward’ Fund: $6436.28 (to Dec 30)
There was a concert earlier this month at St. Paul’s that raised $1900 for The Guesthouse. Thom Lackie spoke from the heart and got a nice round of applause. He told Bob Bruer afterwards that of all the things he is involved with, The Guesthouse is dearest to his heart. Gord McKay, Pat File, and Zena Pendlebury were there from town council and were most supportive in talking to those attending.
Anne Tinker is the outgoing Executive Director of The Guesthouse’s phenomenally successful sister program in Cambridge, Ontario, The Bridges. She writes:
As I prepared for my retirement from Cambridge Shelter Corporation, one of my final goals was to achieve accreditation under the Imagine Canada Standards Program. Many shelters, unless they receive Ministry of Health funding, do not have access to accreditation processes, so I was extremely happy when Imagine Canada developed an accreditation program for charities and non-profits that demonstrate excellence in five areas of operations: Board Governance, Financial Accountability and Transparency, Fundraising, Staff Management and Volunteer Involvement.
The program strengthens the practices of organizations, encouraging them to achieve best practice status, and strengthens public confidence in the sector through a voluntary peer review based accreditation process.
The application is rigorous and challenging but well worth the time and effort it takes. Cambridge Shelter was fortunate to be accredited by the Standards Program in the fall of 2013. Successful organizations must then complete an annual compliance report and are able to showcase the program Trustmark on brochures and other promotional materials and on their website.
I would encourage any organization that is committed to excellence, and wants to demonstrate that commitment, to consider applying through the Standards Program. It provides a strong framework that will help to ensure good governance and to show transparency and accountability. I am very glad that I was able to achieve this for Cambridge Shelter Corporation before I retired.
‘Members of the Penetanguishene Secondary School fundraising crew – including Heather Macrae, left, Hannah Thomas, Gillian Hutton, Katelyn Bouffard and Katie Williams – collected more than 500 toiletries and supplies.’ More…