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Building Trust

It’s been four weeks since I started at OIM. And last week, while thinking about explaining our programs to those who may not know about them, I realized I could sum up our programs with two words: safety and trust. All our programs are structured so people feel safe approaching us on the streets, coming to our building, and trusting us to provide them with the necessary supplies.

For our street outreach program, our street friends often wait for us in anticipation of getting the items they need. They know that when they see us, we are there to help them. We’ve established that trust with them. For our Innercity Veterans Outreach and Support (IVOS), we’ve built a place where veterans of all ranks, whether private or general, can eat a meal in warmth and safety. They know we care for them while they’re here, showing no partiality to those who join us.

Last week, when I joined the Door Outreach program for the first time, it struck me how significant OIM’s ministry is. I was putting together an order for one of our street friends who, for privacy reasons, we’ll call Bob. He met me with a big smile as I came outside with his order, which made me smile just as big. As I helped Bob pack up his order, one of our door outreach volunteers recognized him and started a conversation with him, both acknowledging each other by name. What stood out was how friendly Bob was with me, someone he had just met and the volunteer he had known for several weeks. There was no distinction in his greeting with me and the volunteer, which is a testament to the trust that runs through every aspect of OIM.

So, whether it’s our street outreach or, in fact, any of our programs, we strive to build safe and trustworthy relationships with our street friends.

~Andrew, Communications and Connections Coordinator

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