I created an ABWK manual 5 years ago. In it, I offered a simple yet comprehensive program that could be used to complement an affiliates home building. The manual offered a way to structure a program that give affiliates great flexibility to meet the specific needs of their affiliate and community. The manual grew out of a series of 6 workshops I presented to affiliates when I was training them for HFHI.
However, these workshops are no longer being offered. Yet, the need for training continues to grow exponentially as seen by the many inquiries I receive from affiliates on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many missteps could be avoided by giving affiliate staff/board members and volunteer leaders some basic training so that programs could have the best opportunity to quickly get off the ground and start making an impact in their communities.
Today, confusion has greatly increased by taking A Brush with Kindness and dividing it up into 3 smaller programs and pairing it with a Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative that includes homebuilding as well. Having a targeted approach to our work and being able to provide a variety of housing support to our community is terrific!
However, Twin Cities Habitat has been involved with neighborhood revitalization for years and has found the need to keep the branding simple. It has been challenging enough to get people to realize we do more than home building without introducing an alphabet soup of programs and acronyms (TCHFH, ABWK, NRI, CHR etc.).
People in the Twin Cities have come to love A Brush with Kindness because it focuses on compassion toward families and provides the community an opportunity to show kindness to their neighbor in a tangible way. Family focus rather construction focus. Its not about providing a variety of services (which we do) but providing an opportunity for our community to come together and help their neighbor in a variety of ways(people focus).
There needs to be comprehensive training on the issues surrounding the families we want to serve and then creating a program that meets their needs.
People focus or construction focus? It will vastly impact the success of your program and affiliate.