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Advocacy – the Power of Community Connections

In a service ministry, it really is all about relationships. Human connections help us find homeowners in need, present partnership opportunities at other non-profits and build partnership opportunities with companies looking to make an impact in the neighborhood. In essence, they help us build service value networks.

Building these networks presents opportunities to meet needs, and that is perhaps best illustrated when we are able to advocate on behalf of a homeowner. In our ministry context of home repair, advocacy typically refers to helping someone who has an urgent need connect with a vital community resource, resulting in the homeowner’s crisis being resolved, possibly at low or no cost.

Here are a couple recent real-life example to show you how this all works.

We have relationships with many local non-profit organizations. When we run across a client who has a need we can’t meet, we can pass them along to another non-profit that can help meet their need. That also happens in reverse.

A couple days ago, we got a call from an elderly lady whose air conditioner conked out. She was referred to us by another agency. After speaking with her further and understanding her need, we were able to connect a local heating and air company that has a huge heart and has worked with us in the past.

They were able to go out, look at her air conditioner, and fix it for her. They donated the repairs to her. Without these community connections, we would not have been able to help her and meet her need.

We encountered a similar need in December of 2011 when we got a call from a widow whose heater stopped working. She called us to ask what to do. She had called an HVAC company, and after we talked with them, they graciously marked her bill down to cost. We called another non-profit connection that was able to pay the remainder.

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