Good year! We hope the first days of 2022 have been wonderful for you.
With COVID-19 restrictions limiting the number of people the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) can have in a shelter based on its ability to provide 6 feet between sleeping spaces, 2021 has been a difficult year. The organization takes great pride in its clients and staff who are adapting and adjusting so well to these necessary changes and staying so positive.
This summer, the last clients were able to be relocated to the shelter building from the hotels where they were staying at the height of the pandemic. During the period July 1 to November 30, HALO served over 173 clients, including 37 children. As of December 31, there were 98 clients in the shelter, including 14 children.
New Executive Director
The year 2021 has also been a time of change for HALO. With the departure of its executive director in February, HALO began looking for a replacement nationwide. In September, HALO welcomed Reverend Holly Anderle as its new Executive Director. She has a long history of supporting the homeless in Racine and served on the HALO Board of Directors since 2017, most recently as the previous Chair of the HALO Board of Directors.
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Anderle is committed to HALO’s mission to provide a path to self-sufficiency and stable housing for people experiencing homelessness in Racine County. And HALO’s vision that all homeless people in Racine County will receive emergency food, clothing, shelter, transitional and permanent housing and support services through a collaborative structure that coordinates efficiently services, shares information, increases funding and eliminates duplication and gaps in service delivery.
During the month of October, HALO was able to carry out long-needed repairs to the shelter. They repainted the floors in the kitchen, replaced the tub and shower in the family bathroom, and installed new flooring throughout the shelter. This new floor is not only more durable, but also gives the shelter a less institutional look and feels more like a house.
HALO was able to celebrate this year with an end of year party for its customers. The staff served a festive meal with appetizers donated by a number of local restaurants. Santa visited and brought little gift bags for the kids, and customers and staff enjoyed a hot chocolate bar with toppings. Some of the men even organized an impromptu dance party. Many people and organizations donated gifts to customers during Christmas week. Wide smiles were seen and HALO staff received many comments of thanks and appreciation for their generous donors.
A new Year
The start of a New Year is always an exciting time of promise, although the New Year could be another year of uncertainty. HALO staff continue to find creative and compassionate solutions to the threat of COVID-19. It is also the start of a program to provide internal COVID-19 testing to its customers and staff.
For more information on how to donate, volunteer with HALO, or schedule a shelter visit, contact Jeanette Fiorita by emailing [email protected] or call 262-498-2348.