Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ROOF Changes and Partnerships

Greetings ROOF supporters!

Board Changes

ROOF started the year with several significant changes. First, ROOF founder, Norma Beit, has stepped down as ROOF’s Chairperson. Her amazing drive and leadership brought ROOF to life, raising awareness about the mission and procuring funding to start this new organization. While she will not run day to day operations, Norma will chair the Fundraising Committee along with her esteemed husband, Harvey. The Board thanks Norma for her vision and leadership in the creation of ROOF, utilizing her vast fund-raising experience and expertise, and looks forward to her continued service to the organization.

Board members Kerri Perry and Susanne Cameron have been elected Co-Chairs and will work to take ROOF to a new and exciting place. Both are members of the communities ROOF serves and bring a wealth of knowledge to the Board. Kerri Perry is a real estate attorney who is a member of two other local boards. Susanne Cameron has spent her career in housing and community development. In addition to serving on many boards and committees throughout New England, she was also recently appointed by Newburyport Mayor Holaday to serve on the Newburyport Affordable Housing Trust.

New Partnerships

ROOF is only part of the solution to helping homeless families reach their goals. Community Action Inc., a nonprofit multi-service organization based in Haverhill, with an office in Amesbury, has stepped up to partner with ROOF. The mission of CAI is to empower individuals, families, and communities to overcome poverty through education, training, advocacy, prevention, and services to meet human needs. CAI offers hope and assistance with respect and understanding. This winning team approach will ensure ROOF families a positive path to independence and pride. We are thrilled to welcome CAI as a partner and member to the ROOF family.

ROOF will continue to work with other area nonprofit social service providers to enhance existing programs with its housing programs.

Program Changes.

The ROOF Board also went back to the drawing board to implement an approach that will have the greatest impact housing homeless families and families at risk of homelessness.

The changes are two-fold:

1. ROOF will accomplish its goals by purchasing property in its service area of Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury. ROOF will own the properties and make units available to qualified families.

2. ROOF will also lease rental properties from local landlords. The units will be available to qualified families.

In both cases, families must pay for a portion of the rent while maintaining an active status with the nonprofit partner working to improve their education, job training, and other skills to help them to get up and out of crisis.

We look forward to our continued and productive work. Stay tuned for event announcements and fundraising news!