Family of Woodstock

Family of Woodstock
Family of Woodstock

16 Rock City Road
Woodstock, NY   12498
Email: fowh@familyofwoodstockinc.org
(845) 679-2485 / 338-2370

Staff:  Crisis Hotline – 3 full-time / 7 part-time / 60 Volunteers

Team Leader: Tamara Cooper
Assistant Program Director: Sue Carroll

Program Hours: Crisis Hotline – 24 hrs. /365 days
Walk-ins – 9:30am to 9:30pm; 24 hours in emergencies
Textmeback Textline – 7 days a week, 5:00am to 1:00am

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS: Crisis intervention; emergency short-term counseling; information and referral; case management; care coordination; emergency food; access to emergency housing; after hours, weekend and holiday coverage for many county, state and local agencies; emergency textline for crisis and information and referrals; emergency resources in situations such as homelessness, lack of fuel or utilities, lack of food, or emergency transportation for the Ulster County Department of Social Services; facilitation of the evidence based suicide prevention programs SafeTALK and ASIST and evidence based counseling programs, Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid. This hotline also serves as the 24-hour access point for Family’s Domestic Violence, Homeless, and Runaway and Homeless Youth shelters.

ANCILLARY SERVICES: Food closet; free store (clothing, furniture and household items); public rest room; free public telephone for local calls and long distance in emergencies; message services; client advocacy; employment file; motel placements for individuals and families unable to be served by Family’s shelters; volunteer transportation; community bulletin boards; and host-site for other community programs and initiatives. The program provides food and gifts to families and individuals during the major holidays. Local schools and courts use the program as a placement for community service and it serves as a placement for interns from local colleges and graduate schools. Program staff are active in the town’s Emergency Management Committee and the program had a generator donated by Ulster County Mental Health Department that enables it to provide ongoing assistance during emergencies. Refrigeration for medications, electricity to charge cell phones and computers and space to get warm or cool off are all available to the community. Also offered is assistance to residents in applying for benefits on-line. As applying for services on-line has become more common, our staff is trained to assist clients in accessing resources via the internet. Finally, the program plays an integral part in the delivery of mental and physical health services in the county by operating as the on-call resource for Ulster County Mental Health, Astor Family Services, Hudson Valley Mental Health, Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Services, the Institute for Family Health and the Ulster County Health Home. The program also responds to calls after-hours for local AA groups.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS:
Family of Woodstock continues to be an integral part of the community. Relationships with town agencies such as local police have become more collaborative in recent years, reflecting the importance of community based organizations to fill the gaps created by the reduction of available government services and resources
Reflective of the way people communicate, Family of Woodstock, known for reliable and supportive crisis hotline work, has begun a texting service called TextMeBack. TextMeBack is an additional service option that users have in reaching out for the support and information that Family has traditionally offered over the phone. Benefits include being accessible to those without calling capabilities, discreet usage, and a written record of support, information, and referrals. Most importantly, texting provides a new and comfortable access for some consumers needing assistance who might otherwise not outreach to the agency. Historically, Family has served people in all walks of life, and our creation of a textline is the next step to continue this tradition. Examples of those we serve include: those experiencing domestic violence; those in need of mental health services, those needing housing (or shelter); those concerned about the wellbeing of loved ones; those in crisis situations; those in need of education; and those with questions or concerns about resources in the Ulster County community.

As our community has been impacted by the ongoing opiate epidemic, Family in conjunction with other local organizations and agencies is developing the capacity to respond to overdose emergencies through training individuals in the delivery of Narcan, an antidote to an opioid overdose. Working with OASAS to deliver community trainings and to develop our own cadre of trainers, Family is actively promoting this harm reduction strategy. Family is also playing a role in the dissemination of information on the current epidemic by working with county organizations such as the Prevention Coalition, the Institute of Family Health and treatment providers to hold forums for parents and assemblies for students in the local school districts. We also played a primary organizational role in the development of the Police Assisted Addiction and Rehab Initiative (PAARI) which has been successfully used to help people addicted to opiates find treatment services immediately and continue to be an active partner in the initiative.

Just as our hotline has traditionally been a hosting site for those who have requirements for community service, we have begun to be a site for interns from all levels of educational programs, from high schools to graduate schools. This has become a very robust system of an on the job training for a wide variety of students that benefits both the student and the program.

The Program Director, who was recently promoted to Team Leader of Staff Training, continues to be active in the OMH SPEAK initiative, and continues to deliver SafeTALK and ASIST trainings concerning suicide prevention and intervention. The program is also offering a new community based training promoted by the Obama administration, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) both the adult and youth curriculums. The Team Leader has also received training in the evidence-based curriculum Crucial Conversations, which she offers to agency staff.
Program Manager Ron VanWarmer is communications director for the county’s Disaster Recovery and Response Committee (DRRC). The DRRC was established to help the county better prepare for natural or manmade disasters and their impact. Among other responsibilities, Ron works with the agency to ensure that there can be communication via ham radio between Family’s countywide programs in the event of a disruption.

The town of Woodstock established a Human Rights Committee to address any issues of potential violations of the rights of its community members. Family had a presence in the development of this committee and is a partnering member, represented by Salvador Altamirano-Segura.