Helping Utah's most vulnerable

2014 Report to the Community

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

 

Once again, great things are happening at VOA-Utah.

In 2014, we hit several important milestones.  After suffering from federal budget cuts the year before, we’ve been able to increase funding from other sources to bring back portions of the programming at the Homeless Youth Resource Center that we were forced to cut. Government contract reductions also led to consolidation of our two Detox programs into one, and the start of a new partnership for expanded diversions from jail and hospitals.   

We also opened our new Young Men’s Transition Home and successfully completed the zoning process for our new Homeless Youth Resource Center that will allow us to provide 30 overnight shelter beds. I am so excited about starting construction on this beautiful new building. Our new facility will allow us to provide expanded, 24/7 services to better aid the homeless teen population in Utah.

In total, we served 8,640 people last fiscal year. But we didn’t do it alone. We were aided by some important new partnerships. Optum, Utah’s Medicaid provider chose us to establish the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team, which provides mobile psychiatric treatment services to those with severe and persistent mental illness.  In conjunction with the Utah State Primary Care program, we planned the opening of a medical clinic in our Cornerstone Counseling Center to serve the under or uninsured, and those with low or no income. Often homeless or facing eviction, their only resource for medical care has been the emergency room. 

We are also reevaluating existing partnerships and collaborating in new ways to achieve greater collective impact for people who need assistance related to homelessness, addiction and mental health. For example, homeless outreach staff from VOA-Utah, The Road Home and Fourth Street Clinic were co-located to facilitate collective strategies to help homeless individuals move toward housing. These efforts will continue.

Those of you, who know me, know that my motto is “Patience, Persistence and Positivity.”  This has been so true the past year.  And it’s paying off.  Our fundraising efforts for the Homeless Youth Resource Center have put us within reach of our goal. We have just $700,000 left to raise.  With your help, we’ll be able to break ground this spring.

Thank you for all that you do for VOA-Utah.  While 2014 was a year of great strides; I believe 2015 will be even more so.

Sincerely,
Kathy Bray
President and CEO
Volunteers of America, Utah 

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