Department Goals for 2023
As we look to the new beginnings of 2023, we thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the growth La Puente hopes to bring to the community in the San Luis Valley. Our current series of posts focusing on the effects of generational poverty can only be combatted when we pull together as a community. That being said, we asked some of the different departments that make up La Puente what their goals are for the year and what they are hoping to provide for our community.
Speaking with Annalise Baer, director of the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley (FBNSLV), she said:
The FBNSLV is excited to spend 2023 planning and implementing a move to a new building on State Ave. The new food bank will provide more space for daily operations, an office space to allow both the Food Bank and VEGI departments to work side by side once again, and a kitchen that will be used for small educational classes and to cook healthy meal samples for clients. Perhaps most importantly, the new space will allow us to further our mission of serving our clients with dignity, as it will have space for a waiting room so that clients no longer have to wait in the cold and the heat on the side of the road, and as it will be a much more physically accessible space for clients with an ADA bathroom, wider doors, and a paved parking lot. The Food Bank team is thrilled at the chance to spend the year planning this new space, and hopefully opening to the public at the end of 2023.
Big things are in store for the Food Bank Network and La Puente is thrilled to be able to offer this expanded resource for our community.
Next up, Don Hanna, the Director of our PALS program, shared the vision for the future of the program and how they are hoping to continue growing. He said:
PALS is looking forward to continued depth of care with our clients in 2023. We are expanding therapeutic services within the program – this will be more availability of play therapy for our kids, as well as furthering therapeutic training with core PALS staff. We are also hoping to take a more systems approach with our families and provide broader support, not just to our kids, but to caregivers as well.
Being able to support our families as well as our children in our community will provide a more healthy community overall. Everyone is a valued member at La Puente.
Turning to our next program, Director Callie Adams at Crisis Prevention said:
Crisis Prevention says it’s goal right in the name. Our goal is to prevent crisis. We need to be that friendly face that is there for whoever accesses our office in whatever way they access us. We are accessed through email, referral platforms from other service providers, phone and walk-ins. We want to have all of our staff trained to take each client and guide them to where they will be helped in a way that will prevent them from going into a mode of complete crisis. This means continuing education internally about our programs as they come and go, understanding of the resources around us and our partners and learning how to talk to those who are on the edge of crisis.
Crisis Prevention is special because they are the facet of La Puente responsible for helping our community members avoid a crisis situation in the first place. Many of our other programs serve as a supplemental or interventionary action while this program works proactively to keep our community stable.
The next program is not one the community hears about regularly. This program is more internal but no less necessary for the health of La Puente as an organization; this ensures that we can continue to be a resource for the community. Wilson Hamilton, the Director of our Development Program said:
Our goal for Development is to continue as effective stewards of the tremendous goodwill shown to us every year by our community. Without the faith and support shown to us by volunteers and donors La Puente would not be able to continue serving those in need. As we continue to face new challenges, Development will continue to work with our service programs to effectively meet the needs of our neighbors.”
Development not only creates the blueprints for La Puente’s growth as a program but also acts as the stewards for the money graciously given by donors and volunteers. Without these donations, La Puente would not be able to serve as the resource center for our community.
The last program is currently headed by Shanae Diaz, who is the Director of Volunteer Coordination. Although the leadership is undergoing a change later this year, Shanae remains excited about the possibilities for Volunteer Coordination. She said:
La Puente’s office of Volunteer Coordination strives to connect people to their community through service by creating an environment where volunteers are exposed to issues of social justice and are engaged in projects that support La Puente programs and the Alamosa community. Our goal in 2023 is to continue to recruit volunteers from our local school system, including ASU and TSJC, in order to encourage identification of values and the application of one’s values to the service of others. This year will also bring a leadership change for this department, so look for new faces and brightened energy!
Volunteer Coordination is another internal program but also cannot be left out! This program is responsible for organizing the amazing volunteers we have come to serve at La Puente. Just as we could not exist without the generosity of our community and donors, we could not exist without the help of our volunteers.
Although the programs mentioned here are not an exhaustive list of the departments offered by La Puente, we believe that these provide a good look into the services we are striving to provide for our community.