2020 Year End Reflection
As the end of one calendar year approaches and a new year is about to begin, there is a tendency to take time to reflect on the challenges, what was learned, and what was accomplished during the past year while looking forward to the challenges and goals that come with the new year. This is a summary of our reflections at OMNI for 2020, and for going forward in 2021
The state’s stay in place order in response to COVID-19 in March 2020 dramatically changed how schools and businesses operated—OMNI was no exception. Our counseling and prevention services were changed to virtual (phone or video conferencing) and in child welfare all services, with the exception of the most at risk families, were also conducted virtually. Our staff exceeded reasonable expectations in making the necessary adjustments. We were able to facilitate a quick and successful transition to new service methodologies and service recipient engagement that resulted in OMNI continuing to engage and serve large numbers of individuals and families in our community. In fact, during this time, our state funding for both prevention and child welfare services was increased to expand into additional communities.
As we move forward, it is fairly evident to us that when there is a significant event in our community like COVID-19, the vulnerabilities of families that often seek out OMNI’s services are further exacerbated/exposed, particularly in relation to basic needs such as access to health services, financial stability, housing, and employment. Going forward, we are going to spend more effort into assessing these needs, and will seek out additional resources that will allow us to connect our service recipients with securing these basic needs.
Additionally, given current indicators, as we begin to recover from this public health crisis there will be an increased need for access to behavioral health services, particularly to address issues often resulting from stress and isolation such as depression and anxiety, family conflict, and substance abuse. We will be looking to increase our resources to address these issues. Also, we have been planning an expansion of service offerings to include children under ten years of age and increasing the services we offer to adults. We will be accelerating the implementation of these offerings in 2021.
Most importantly, though, is not something new that was learned, but rather something that was dramatically reinforced as a truism: in spite of the likelihood of personally being adversely impacted in some way by events, there are many, many people who will still extend themselves to others in a similar situation. In our universe of OMNI, that is true of our staff, our volunteers, supporters, and donors who again-and-again step up to address the needs of others.
And if there was any other understanding obtained from our process of reflection, that reaffirming characteristic alone inspires us further in fulfilling OMNI’s mission.
If you are able, we ask you to consider making a gift today to provide critical family support and counseling services to families in our community. Your gift can keep families from being homeless. You can help parents complete unemployment applications and apply for food assistance. You can counsel a young person struggling with depression due to the loneliness of social isolation. You can help families live healthier and happier lives with one another. YOU can change and save lives.
For nearly 50 years OMNI has been there for all kids and families in our community. Now, more than ever, our community needs us. And we need you. To donate click below:
From all of us at OMNI, we thank you all for supporting us throughout the past year and look forward to continuing our mission of creating pathways to successful and healthy behaviors for everyone in our community through 2021 and beyond.