How do you wrap up a year at GraceWorks in a one page article — especially this one? The July 2018-June 2019 fiscal year has had all the twists and turns of a thrilling roller coaster ride.
In each area of our ministry there have been joys and challenges. For instance, while I am excited about the new staff we were able to add to our brand-new Processing Department, I was extremely saddened by the departure of significant staff members from other key departments.
We hosted our first GraceWorkers’ orientation, and in this same year experienced the “home going” of several of our dear, dear volunteers. So God sent us some lovely volunteers and took others for Himself.
We witnessed Neighbors succeeding in powerful ways and saw some others struggle to change harmful patterns and behaviors. Homes were saved and homes lost. Jobs found and jobs lost. Tears of gratitude and tears of regret.
Last July our board was added to significantly with new talent and energy. This July we will add even more. But as the fiscal year closes we will experience some key board members rolling off, who have served several consecutive terms. We will say hello and we say goodbye.
And then of course there is the transitioning of our Fairview site to the Mobile Service model. As with any major changes there have been a lot of emotions on both sides as we meet the needs of our Neighbors in Fairview in new and different ways. For sure, we experience a dreaded sense of loss and a delightful sense of gain.
As we close out one fiscal year and open ourselves to what God has for us in the new one, our marching orders are clear. Earlier this year, I shared the goals of our three-year strategic plan. As a reminder here they are again:
- Intentionally initiate new and cultivate existing partner relationships
- Optimize staff composition, competency and capacity
- Provide relevant and sustainable services through a high-quality experience
- Ensure highly effective governance and best practices
- Establish and sustain efficient technology
- Replicate the GraceWorks mission where God leads
We have made some exciting progress on each of these goals this year. One evidence of progress is the new corporate partnerships. We are also forging new and deepening existing relationships with area churches. We have rewritten some staff job descriptions, added new ones and conducted a salary assessment. The Program Committee continues to meet to address goal three. We have even written a survey to ask the Neighbors we serve how we can serve them better.
I submitted a request to increase the budget in the new year for Neighbor Services in order to meet the growing financial needs of those seeking our help. The GraceWorks Leadership Team, along with our HR Manager, our board, and LBMC continues to keep an eye on our governance policies and to ensure we implement best practices. And we strongly believe Fairview will be the pilot model for how we can replicate our mission throughout this county and beyond.
The strides we made this year will be the foundation to build upon to make even bigger strides in the upcoming 2019/2020 fiscal year.
None of this happens without the many ways you pour yourself out on our behalf. Your prayers, your time, your financial support and your advocacy are the fuel that moves this engine forward. I am grateful GraceWorks had an impactful year because of your partnership. I pray I can continue to count on you as we move forward into the next year with God as our lead.
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO