Impact and Arms of Hope in 2016 and Beyond
One of Impact’s partnerships that continues to be incredibly fruitful is with Arms of Hope, which operates Medina and Boles Children’s Homes and also reaches out to people in poverty through its Family Outreach programs in Dallas, San Antonio, and now Impact in Houston. This program provides an area church with a trained and resourced social worker in order to connect families dealing with hardship to the resources that they need, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.
That social worker, Leslie Salinas, currently carries a full case load of 100 families, totaling 298 people, 130 of whom are under the age of 18. Together those people represented 16 Zip codes and were 51% Hispanic, 29% African-American, and 20% Caucasian, and there were 8 baptisms as a result of the ministry in the recent quarter.
Some services provided were emergency rental, utility, and food assistance, vital records replacements (IDs, birth certificates, etc.) and Social services applications and renewals (Food stamps, Medicaid, Gold Cards). Help with financial management and employment (referrals, applications, resume review, etc.) was also provided, along with referrals for help with instances of domestic abuse as well as referrals for family counseling. All of this was done while seeking to connect people with Impact, where their spiritual needs could be more fully met.
Arms of Hope’s Family Outreach Center at Impact has several goals for 2017. Leslie hopes to continue to guide families through their long-term goals but also have a greater emphasis on short term goals. When a client meets a short term goal they are laying a foundation for their long term goals, and it also provides them with the confidence needed to achieve those goals.
Leslie has also come to believe that a greater emphasis should be placed on behavioral changes rather than attaining specific outcomes. Clients have greater control over their behavior rather than outcomes, and a greater focus on their own behavior will help them to remain positive throughout the process and become more aware of themselves and their choices as they seek to achieve their goals.
This work of equipping and empowering people to be able to flourish in life and provide for their families and for others is what God has called us all to do, and it an honor and privilege for Impact to partner with Arms of Hope to do this for the hurting of Houston. May He continue to bless this partnership, and may we all continue to find new and innovative ways of working together to help those around us!