By Jeff Mortensen
President & CEO
Imagine not knowing how you’re going to provide the evening meal for your children when they arrive home from school. Imagine arriving home 15 minutes late and looking at yourself in the car’s rearview mirror before you enter your home…recalling the facial bruises your spouse brutally inflicted on you the last time you were late. Imagine working through your finances and realizing that the health problems and medical bills will make it impossible for you to pay your rent within the next two months.
Supporting people through fearful and uncertain times is something 360 Communities has done since its inception. We have over 45 years of experience meeting people during some of the most difficult and chaotic times in their lives.
360 Communities is experiencing an increase of fear and uncertainty among the clients we serve as well as among the volunteers and staff members who carry out our mission. This is a result of the many recent changes in Washington, D.C., and the media attention surrounding issues of immigration. People are uncertain about the facts, their legal rights, who they can trust, and where they can go for support. There is real fear in our community.
360 Communities wants you to know that we are here, doing the work we have always done to provide hope and support to people in need.
Barriers can take many forms in our community, and in our work, 360 Communities takes great strength in the clarity of our mission and the power of an engaged community. 360 Communities mission starts with, “In the spirit of caring for our neighbors …” We exist to care for our neighbors. Our neighbors are anyone in the community seeking safety, success in school, and stability. You will discover that we approach our work with openness, regardless of circumstance, with a genuine care for people and their families. Connect with 360 Communities if you need to utilize our services or if you would like to give back to the community.
Throughout our history, we have studied the barriers facing those who lack access or are from underserved groups and made changes to how we serve in order to make greater impacts. We have done this for individuals facing domestic violence, sexual violence, poverty, homelessness, academic struggles, and inadequate child development.
Our community is increasingly diverse and continues to change. We recognize that change can be difficult for people. But demographic shifts are nothing new to 360 Communities. In fact, we plan for them and seek opportunities in them. We lean into the change and evolve. That means embracing and working to understand people, ideas, cultures, languages, and more that are new to us. Together we all have gifts to share that collectively make the community stronger. The demographic changes that we are experiencing represent, for us, positive growth and point to a thriving community.
You play a critical role in strengthening the community through your response, and your relationship to, this journey of the ever changing community landscape. It can be personally uncomfortable at times because it involves working alongside people with very different experiences. When you lean into that relationship and discomfort with openness, you will discover that we have an exceptional community and that people of all backgrounds desire a strong community with more opportunities for their children. 360 Communities is one way to discover your role alongside others who are making a positive difference and building a brighter future.