Old Normal, New Normal, Next Normal
Serving our youth through every change that has come our way.
Recently I was looking at some information that Salesforce offered to its customers, and they described the process we are in as defining the Old Normal, the New Normal, and the Next Normal. I found that incredibly helpful.
The Old Normal for Outreach is life through February of 2020. It was a path that stretched back over two decades of history for our organization. We had grown and matured as a ministry, and our methods were built upon the ones that came before in a fairly logical way.
The New Normal is life from March to today. We are all living in a world we didn’t imagine, that we would have claimed impossible to exist. None of us could have imagined what this year would look like or the historical, global changes we would see. This New Normal is the world we are in today.
Serving the youth in the New Normal, making sure that we stay socially distanced.
The Next Normal is what will come after this phase. None of us can accurately predict what that world will look like. We want to, and a lot of people are trying. But we are not there yet.
At Outreach, we are trying to start the process of looking towards the Next Normal as we make decisions for today. We are asking who we need to be moving forward, and how can we best serve our community and the homeless youth who live here. Over the coming months, you will hear and see of changes from us that are our best attempts to prayerfully move towards the Next Normal.
For today, we are taking small but significant steps forward. Beginning on Tuesday, May 12th, we will expand our weekly schedule. We will have the Program Center open every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11am – 3pm. We are going to begin phasing some of our services back in as well each week. Next week we will be re-opening our showers to youth who want to schedule to come in and use them. We also will be working towards getting a modified laundry service running in the next couple of weeks. Our case managers across our team are going to move back to meeting with youth one-on-one in-person to provide care and support and to offer hope.
At the same time, we are going to continue our food delivery around the city, and we will continually look for ways to expand that service to new youth in need. We have created a team of staff and volunteers to work on finding locations of concentrated need and opening new program centers in those areas around the city. We are creating new partnerships with other organizations in Indy to provide summer programming and opportunities for youth that have not existed before.
Packing Bags of food that we have been able to deliver to youth around the city.
In all of these opportunities, we are beginning to welcome our amazing volunteers back to serve with us. Please know that we recognize many of you will have concerns and choose to wait for a season before coming back to serve. You are a key part of our team, and your spot will be here waiting, regardless of how long that may take. We never want a volunteer to feel pressure from us to return before they are ready.
In all of this, we are working hard to build safe practices into every decision. The health of our youth, volunteers, staff, and community are paramount for us and we will continue to take all precautions we can. We have given our staff a three-month plan for how to work as a team safely and continue to increase engagement with our youth.
Through it all, our mission never changes. We are here to offer Hope to homeless youth and young adults. We are grateful that you are a part of that mission with us. We would ask that you continue to do three things:
Pray for our youth, our staff, and our organization. This is always priority #1.
Share about Outreach with people you know. Invite them to find out more about us and join us in our mission.
Be generous in this season. If you can volunteer safely, we would love to have your help. If you are able to give, we are seeing an increase in need on an incredible scale.
This New Normal is an interesting phase. It is the Next Normal we hope to prepare for and be ready to lead-in. Thank you for continuing to walk with us through every phase of life!