“From Survive To Thrive” Plan
North Kent Community Services, the largest food pantry in northern Kent County, has recently announced a dramatic change in its mission: NKCS will not just give out food to struggling families; it will now try to help people become self-sufficient, a program called “From Survive to Thrive.”
NKCS is planning to accomplish this huge undertaking in two ways: 1) implement a life-coaching program and 2) hire a program director/social worker to connect clients to educational resources in the community.
“Many of our clients do not know how to move themselves toward self-sufficiency,” said Executive Director Claire Guisfredi. “They may be lacking functional life skills which perpetuates the poverty cycle.”
Clients will be paired with a volunteer life coach who will meet with them weekly and help establish clear, attainable goals. “Because our clients’ problems are so overwhelming, it helps to have someone listen, help identify the root causes and sort out the best plan of action,” said Claire. “Our clients need someone to walk alongside them, cheering them on, guiding them, believing in their abilities and holding them accountable.” The life coaches will guide the clients to the most appropriate community resources, such as classes in budgeting, parenting and resume writing.
“From Survive to Thrive” will add an extra $72,000 in the budget for 2014. “I am out in the community creating awareness and raising funds for enhanced mission as well as current food programs,” said Claire. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Please consider NKCS for your year-end giving.”
“Through the Empowerment Coaching Program, we expect North Kent Community Services to be the ‘go to’ place in northern Kent County for your neighbors not just to survive, but thrive,” said Claire.