Getting Support : Safe Passage Foundation
Safe Passage Foundation and Where Things Currently Stand
from Lauren - Thursday, August 05, 2004
accessed 3617 times
For those who have asked and for those who are interested, the following a short synopsis on Safe Passage Foundation, where it is and where itís heading:
Since it has been some time since any official word from Safe Passage has been presented on this website, we wanted to give a small overview that will hopefully answer the questions that some have had, as well as to provide a clearer picture of where the Foundation is at and where it is headed in the near future.
Safe Passage Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the State of New York. The Foundation has been a legal entity for a little over a year.
The mission of Safe Passage Foundation is to provide resources, support and advocacy for youth raised in restrictive or isolated communities. (We refer to them below as High Demand Organizations Ė HDOs).
There is a core group of 7 people who have been key players in pulling the Foundation from an idea stage into reality.
All of those involved in this project either have fulltime jobs, are students &/or have other commitments that prevent them from devoting the bulk of their time to the Foundation. Additionally, we are spread out across the United States and beyond its borders relying on email and the phone to communicate. We have moved deliberately in establishing the working parameters, the guidelines, the policies and focus of the Foundation to ensure that we have covered each angle morally and with the Foundationís ultimate objectives in mind.
The focus of the Foundation during this past year has been finalizing the drafts of a number of the legal documents necessary to function and operate, as well as working within academic circles to bring the issues of our demographic into full view.
Safe Passage Foundation has two tiers of management. Ultimate fiduciary responsibility and decision making falls on the Board of Directors. The Officers of the Foundation also have a fiduciary relationship with the Foundation and are the ones who oversee the various departments and have the final say in the day-to-day operations. At this time, due to the limited number of people involved, there is some doubling up of positions between Board members and Officers. When Safe Passage Foundation website is up and running, all of the names and positions will be made available to the general public.
In the meantime, for those who are interested, the Officers of Safe Passage Foundation are as follows:
President & CEO: Lauren Stevens
Vice-President and COO: Julia McNeil
Treasurer and CFO: Nahchey Storer
Secretary: Sharon Loin
Public Relations Officer: Daniel Roselle
Each Officer has been specifically chosen for his/her position because of his/her qualifications and work experience, as well as dedication and time commitment to this project.
There are others who have not been named, and who are not Officers of the Foundation but who have been critical in getting the Foundation going, and without whom, this would have remained a lofty pipedream.
We have been asked a few times if the Foundation is able to accept donations. Yes, we are. It is almost impossible to pull a project of this magnitude into reality without funding. At this time, however, donations received by the Foundation are not tax exempt. It is possible in the near future that donations made to the Foundation will be made exempt retroactively, but we cannot promise this.
Along these lines, we also want to clarify that the Foundation is not seeking financial assistance from within the ex-member communities that comprise the Foundationís client demographic (i.e. second and third generation ex-members).
Up until this point, the Foundation has been funded entirely by individual contributions &/or advances, and more often than not, this funding as come from those who are directly involved in getting the Foundation on its feet. In keeping with the above preference of not seeking monetary contributions from the Foundationís client demographic, the intent of the Foundation is to reimburse the advances that have been contributed during this start up phase.
The scope and focus of the Foundation, although originating from within the ex-member community of The Family, is much larger than our own community. It is estimated that there are millions of youth around the globe who have been born &/or raised in HDOs, but there is no quantifiable data to support this. We are a silent and invisible demographic.
There is a plethora of aid organizations, support groups and foundations to support nearly every cause known to mankind, but none that serve the specific needs of our peer group and the issues we face. Only now are the issues of the 2nd and 3rd generations of HDOs beginning to be seen as separate from the issues of those who joined such organizations of their own will.
There is no place where government officials, educational authorities, health care workers and counselors can go to obtain accurate, unbiased information that will allow them to understand and help the ex-members of HDOs that they are working with.
As of yet, our demographic has lacked a voice to tell our own stories the way we saw and felt them without manipulation by an outside organization that isnít interested enough in the well-being of our demographic to refrain from putting a spin on what is said.
That is the broader scope of Safe Passage Foundation and a part of what we hope and expect to change over the next few years.
The narrower scope of the Foundation involves providing support to individuals in areas where they have the most need at the time. The programs we are establishing will cover a wide range of support, starting with the very basic (food, clothing & shelter) to the more advanced (educational grants, subsidies, etc.) The client base of Safe Passage Foundation is comprised of youth born &/or raised in HDOs. This includes youth still in such groups, those who are transitioning out, and those who have already left. As such our program development will be divided to cover the specific needs of each phase.
As with any organization that distributes grants, subsidies or provides any service free to its client base, there will be specific qualifying criteria.
At this time, all of those who have been involved in bringing the Foundation into existence have been doing so at their own expense and donating their time. The original idea of the Foundation was to rely totally on volunteer power in order to keep expenses and overhead as low as possible and to channel all resources into the Foundationís projects. However we have seen over this past year that when faced with a decision to focus time and energy on a project that will pay the bills, or one that will benefit the Foundation, in most instances, putting food on the table wins. Because of this, weíve realized that in order to provide the Foundation with a team of professionals focused entirely on growing the Foundation to the benefit of our client base, it will at some point become necessary for us to pay at least a few individuals for their time.
As mentioned earlier, the bulk of our time over this past year has been spent in the drafting, reviewing and finalizing of our various legal documents, as well as networking within academic circles to bring the issues of our client base into the spotlight. Towards the later part of this year and into the beginning of 2005 (funding permitting), we expect to actualize several projects that have been in the lineup.
These are to:
** Establish a 24/7 call center (800 number)
** Facilitate a number of research projects that are being initiated by 3rd parties in order to obtain quantifiable data.
** Begin several grassroots projects throughout the United States
** Begin development of a resource and research database
The Safe Passage Foundation website and email server is currently experiencing difficulty, so if you have written to the Foundation in the past month and have not received a reply, it is because of this. We hope to have this problem solved shortly, but if in the meantime you need to contact the Foundation for any reason you can reach me through my profile in the movingon.org website (Lauren) and we will get an answer back to you as quickly as possible.
We do need volunteers in a number of areas, so if you feel you have something to offer and you are willing to commit your time and energy to it, please contact Julia through her profile on this website (Jules).
If there are questions you have that were not answered above, please contact us through the profiles given above and we will do our best to get answers to you.
Reader's comments on this article
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Friday, February 25, 2005 - 13:21
I just wanted to take the time to say Thank you to all of those that are working so hard to start this very awsome and much needed Foundation!
I think that it is a very wonderful idea and I think that it will do wonders to those that are trying to leave and are afraid or nervous to make the very hard transition into the world of reality we call life.
Good Luck to all of you and as a mother of two young boys I don't know if there is much that I can do. But if there is please let me know! I live in TX and would like to be a help in anyway that I can.
(reply to this comment)
|from Craven de Kere|
Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 00:15
I am a web development manager and would like to contribute to this project according to my capacity.
I can provide limited (by my time) application development as well as free hosting.
Please let me know if this project is still alive.
(reply to this comment)
| From Jules|
Wednesday, January 05, 2005, 20:21
It is very much alive.
You are a life saver. I am sending you an email with the details.
Anyone with .NET (VB.NET or C#) expertise who reads this and is interested please email me. (Sorry Joe but my heart belongs to Bill). T-SQL is a plus.
This is a little weird for me to write this coming after Zerby's "help wanted", but since I guarantee participation in this project will bring no sex (not that it would stop what you would get yourself, but it doesn't pay in Family chicks talking dirty to their Husband before they do you) and so I choose to ignore that weirdness (hey, that's what we do) and appeal to all the bright ones who have left to donate the time after TNG reruns to fun projects like this.
Disclaimer: I understand that not all the bright exer SGs watch TNG reruns. There are even some bright exer SGs who aren't in IT. :-) (reply to this comment)
Monday, August 09, 2004 - 08:05
All this time we've been talking about doing something to support new exmembers--foundation, financial assistance, housing, employment, etc--I've wanted to be involved, to volunteer, and have kept my eyes open for an opportunity.
Recently a couple--some friends of mine from the Group--left. They have three small children and left rather abruptly from a very secluded location, so they started here in the US on a shoe string. After depending on their exmember FG parent for about a year, the man stiffed them and they found themselves back at square one more-or-less.
My husband and I count our lucky stars that we had a chance to "reintegrate" at our own pace, after moving out of a Home into our own appartment. We both had jobs at the time and made enought to live on and put aside substantial savings. I wanted to give back, to say thank you somehow.
When the opportunity to be a part of the solution for this couple arose, we were eager to do what we could. They're moving in with us temporarily and we're gonna help them get started in a new city where they don't have to get used by people who know exactly which buttons to push to make them feel worthless. I'm sure there will be many changes involved for us--many that we cannot even foresee--especially because we've come to love being on our own.
I'm telling this little story because I feel like it's proof that we're all helping eachother make it in our new lives. Thanks for the Foundation. We'd be interested to find out if any assistance could be offered to the couple in this type of situation.
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