This post was written by Shirley Ferkingstad, our Resource Center Program Manager.
Most hallways are relatively non-descript—some pictures, the door to the bathroom, dust bunnies. But at FamilyWorks we utilize the hallway in a unique way to offer a variety of services that complement our Food Bank & Resource Center and to cultivate a stronger sense of connection and community . . . especially when we have a captive audience, patiently waiting in line for the food bank.
There is always information about FamilyWorks classes and various community services posted in the hallway and you might walk in and find our volunteer Cora (who you might remember from a previous post) playing her keyboard and singing her songs, brightening the days of our customers waiting in line for other services. Several times a month there will be a WithinReach representative at a table in the hall eager to talk with/assist you in signing up for health benefits, food stamps, or other public benefits.
Or you might find someone from Budget Mobile talking to folks about getting a free cell phone. Our upstairs neighbors, Solid Ground, also provide information tables about their services and in the Spring they do a seed giveaway in the hallway. You may even come across some Artisan bread on the racks outside the Food Bank. You never know what to expect–music, food, information, surprises.
Utilizing the hallway to provide meaningful programming to our customers and community is just another example of how FamilyWorks seeks to Nourish, Connect and Empower our most vulnerable neighbors.