2022 was a year that saw The INN move forward in significant ways. This included the addition of a 25,000 sq ft building adjacent to the Mary Brennan INN (MBI) soup kitchen, a thorough renovation of the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen and the subsequent re-opening of the soup kitchen for indoor meals (after two years of serving to-go meals due to the pandemic). The following 2022 Fact Sheet highlights key performance indicators for the year. The INN has always placed a high value on providing its services with dignity and respect. Being good listeners is part of this. We have learned many of the guests prefer the option of to-go meals, and the renovated MBI includes two permanent to-go “windows”.
The INN now has expanded hours for both indoor and to-go meals. Another value is the well-being of the guests in their community. The Center for Transformative Change (CTC) continues to assist the guests in life-changing ways – housing, employment, identification, job skills, mental and primary healthcare and more. Wherever possible The INN partners with other agencies to provide the best services for the guests. A central location for The INN’s services is important to the guests, most of whom commute by walking or riding a bicycle. The newly acquired building plays an important role in developing a “campus” setting. This building is already being used for expanded distribution of pantry bags, diapers, toiletries, school supplies and clothing. The construction of interior spaces for new and enhanced guest services will continue in 2023.
Recently a man came into CTC and asked if he could get a document notarized. One of the staff is a notary and she brought her notary stamp to assist the guest. It began as a simple task, but the man soon revealed that this was not his first time at CTC. He stated, “You know, you guys helped me get my first real job, and I’ve been working ever since!” It had been several years prior and he was living a troubled life, he felt he was at a crossroads, so he reached out for help at the CTC. The staff assisted him in obtaining copies of his birth certificate, Social Security card and a new driver’s license. This led to job searches, resume writing and finally a job at a local auto repair shop. Since then, he has received multiple promotions, found his own apartment and reconnected with family. He was incredibly grateful for the support and encouragement from CTC staff that he credits with enabling him to change his life. When the staff member voiced her opinion that it was his own hard work and inner strength that had brought about the change, he gently disagreed: it was his belief that there had been other points in his life he attempted to change his behavior, but this time he was successful, and he credited that success to having a resource like CTC at that pivotal moment. A simple request for a notary revealed an incredible journey of transformation. Each day at The INN we are reminded, “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”
Jean Kelly, Executive Director, The INN