After hearing from clients repeatedly about how they don't want to have to depend on food pantries to survive, Claire Guisfredi says she had to do something to help.
Guisfredi, executive director of North Kent Community Services
, 10075 Northland Dr., Rockford, is ready to launch a new program called From Survive to Thrive
-- once a new program director is in place to mold the program and move it forward.
"Many of our clients want to be self-supporting, but they don't know how to do it," Guisfredi says of the folks who come to NKCS for food assistance. "Many of them have cluttered lives that are so overwhelming they don't know where to begin, so they just shut down."
From Survive to Thrive will help clients identify personal goals to overcome problems and will connect them with community resources already in place, such as, financial literacy classes, computer classes, GED courses, and résumé writing.
The program director will assess their needs, help them set goals, and connect them with the resources they need. The director will also supervise caseworkers, and oversee volunteer life coaches who will walk alongside clients, giving each one personal, one-on-one attention.
"I'm looking for a person that has a few years' experience in social work or management or supervising, who loves the challenge of developing new programs -- there's no outline, this is all up to them," Guisfredi says. "We need someone who will be creating an exit plan strategy for our clients, someone who can forge collaborations with local organizations, and has very good communication and analytical skills.
North Kent Community Services serves lower-income residents of Rockford, Belmont, Sparta, Cedar Springs, Kent City, Sand Lake, and parts of Gowen and Grattan. Many clients live in rural areas where services are not easy to access.
Guisfredi is passionate about making a difference. "We want to be the go-to place where people come for lifelong help that's really going to change their lives."
To apply or find out more about the position, click here
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of North Kent Community Services