Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ROOF receives nonprofit status

The number of homeless people in our area is growing, even as you read this email.

Recently I calculated the potential long-term impact of the ROOF Over Head Collaborative (ROOF). Social service agencies suggest that their homeless clients would live in ROOF housing between three months and two years before being transitioned into mainstream housing. If ROOF purchases three properties a year for 10 years, and clients live in ROOF housing for an average of one year, ROOF would provide housing for 165 families -- nearly 500 individuals, including 330 children. Each family would have received social services to overcome the trauma of homelessness. That is ROOF's mission!

With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that the IRS has give us our 501(c)(3) tax-deductible status -- in record time -- and we now have the green light to begin our fundraising program. Our first informational breakfast for community leaders will be held June 1, and two more are in the planning stages. Our grant writer, Kerri Perry, is currently researching and writing grant applications. Tom Strickler, our new fundraising co-chair, joins Harvey Beit in visiting local donors and developing strategies for acquiring gifts from institutional and corporate sources.

Our new public relations co-chair, Dan Edson, is working on a myriad of fronts to place ROOF into today's media world. (He is looking for folks savvy with websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and ConstantContact to help us use the internet and social media to spread the word about ROOF. Any takers?) A handout designed by our graphic designer, Gretchen McClure, will be ready for distribution June 1.

The task of choosing a collaborative agency is still in process. ROOF's four-person Collaborative Team has spent considerable time educating itself, as well as meeting with the local agencies that work with homeless people and visiting their facilities. A few more details need to be resolved before out board of directors can make its final choice. Haste in the process will not be in the best interest of any of the parties involved.

Are you able to give time and talent to ROOF? We not only will make a difference in the lives of homeless families in the area, but we will become a model for other communities. Already we have heard from residents of a Boston suburb who are interested in our plan and might want to replicate it.

Please leave a comment or contact me directly with your thoughts, questions, and advice. Hardly a day goes by that I do not receive a supportive call or email. I'd love to hear from you.

Norma Beit, Chairperson
Roof Over Head Collaborative