If you have been thinking about getting involved in addressing homelessness in your community, our Neighbor-2-Neighbor program is great place to start. Neighbor-2-Neighbor (N2N) is similar to a buddy system and was created to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness as they prepare to secure and maintain housing.
From Rebecca Prine, Director, Recycled Resources for the Homeless:
If you have been thinking about getting involved in addressing homelessness in your community our Neighbor-2-Neighbor program is great place to start. Neighbor-2-Neighbor (N2N) is similar to a buddy system and was created to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness as they prepare to secure and maintain housing. As Recycled Resources has no full time staff it has been difficult for us to meet the needs of our neighbors as they try to access housing opportunities. In order for people to prepare for housing they need to fulfill certain requirements, such as securing a CA ID, SSI Card, and establishing an income. As people prepare to move into housing they need to attend a series of appointments with the Housing Authority. This is often an overwhelming process and people need support; that is where our N2N volunteers come in.
The goal of N2N is to pair a RRH volunteer with one of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. N2N begins with a 6-hour training where volunteers attend a one-day workshop that entails education surrounding homeless issues. The workshop trains volunteers on local homeless statistics and programs, the philosophy of outreach and engagement, crisis intervention and safety, mental illness and substance use. Volunteers are educated about community resources and how to navigate these resources to best assist their buddy. Volunteers can also be paired with another volunteer, working in partnership, to assist an individual experiencing homelessness.
Once the training is completed Recycled Resources will introduce you to your buddy and you will begin building a relationship with them. The volunteer commits to visiting and engaging their buddy a minimum of 2 x weekly, with the goal of developing a trusting relationship. Visits may include sharing a cup of coffee, having lunch, offering clothing and resources, and educating the person about the process of securing documents needed for housing and benefits. The volunteer also provides updates to Recycled Resources about any challenges, needs, and the progress of the relationship as well as works with our Housing Coordinator to assist in securing documents needed to access housing opportunities.
Once your buddy secures housing you transition with them and become a life skills coach to ensure housing can be maintained. This volunteer opportunity comes with great responsibility yet even greater reward. In order for us to assist people in securing and maintaining housing Recycled Resources must rely on the dedication and compassion of those living in our community. Can you be a buddy?
If you are interested in attending the N2N training on Saturday July 25th please email us. RSVP is needed for this class and space is limited so please contact us as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you. Email us here to RSVP, for questions, or additional information.