Pat Youngquist | Executive Director

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COLUMN

20/20 VISION

As we usher in not just a new year in 2020 but also a new decade, I’m thinking about the past; about the many challenges and triumphs we’ve had in recent years, and of the incredible fortitude with which our staff, volunteers, community partners, and clients have risen to the occasion time and again and built a better Union Mission.

I am also thinking about the future and obstacles we already see on the horizon – for instance, a fast-growing segment of the homeless population nationwide is older adults aged 50-64, which poses special challenges to emergency shelters. But while the next year (and decade) will undoubtedly bring many more tests and opportunities, I am filled with optimism that we’re ready for both. Why? It’s all right here in the pages of this newsletter.

We’re embracing simple ways to address complex problems with initiatives, like Litter Clean Team. We’re re-energizing our community and corporate partners with need-specific volunteer and giving opportunities, like the bathroom renovations at the Magdalene Project. We’re educating the community about the many facets of homelessness through our Lunch & Learn series. We’re inspiring innovation by sharing the successes of others, like our Raising Hope speakers. And, we’re rallying our troops – some familiar, some new, to help keep our path clear and our eyes set upon it, as our 2020 Board of Directors will do.

Though we cannot know what the future holds, we can know this: Union Mission will be there giving help and hope to those in need. We invite you to join us – on a project, at Raising Hope, in a learning session – and become a part of the future.