2020 has been a rough year for everyone, including Waypoint. In February, a water main break occurred that caused significant damage to the lower level of KidsPoint Downtown, forcing the relocation of the child care program. In March, the COVID-19 health pandemic made its way to the Cedar Rapids community, causing the temporary closure of all KidsPoint Child Care facilities and the revamping services to continue safely meeting the needs of clients through Housing & Homeless Services and Domestic Violence Victim Services. In August, the Derecho hit Cedar Rapids and devastated our community, displacing individuals and families and connecting us with people who had never needed our services before.
Despite the chaos that the beginning of the year brought, Waypoint is grateful for the dedicated staff, volunteers, and community members who made the following accomplishments possible in fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020):
Domestic Violence Victim Services
- Financial Literacy courses went virtual, reducing barriers for survivors of domestic violence to attend
- Teen Dating Violence presentations were developed and shared with parents and students at schools in all seven counties where Waypoint provides services
- Worked with Safe CR to create a standard community response to nuisance reporting to increase the number of domestic violence survivors who are being referred to Waypoint
- Victim Advocates provided advocacy, safety planning, and support to 2,277 victims/survivors of domestic violence
- 6,794 phone calls were answered through the 24/7 Domestic Violence Resource & Support Line
- 98% of victims/survivors reported feeling safer after working with Waypoint
Housing & Homeless Services
- Tenant Academy, which provides education and support to those with little to no rental history or poor rental history, increased participation by 210% since 2016
- 80% of those who participated in Tenant Academy successfully identified and remained in permanent housing
- Waypoint was recognized as the most successful Coordinated Entry System in the entire state of Iowa by the Institute for Community Alliance and provides technical assistance and support to all Coordinated Entry Systems in the state
- The Madge Phillips Center Shelter provided emergency overnight shelter to 246 single women and families with children
- 3,003 individuals were connected with the Centralized Intake Program to assess and support their housing crisis
- 1,475 homeless and nearly homeless individuals were supported through Rapid Re-Housing and Homeless Prevention Programs
- 80% of clients supported with a housing crisis exited to permanent housing
KidsPoint Child Care
- After the mandatory closure at the start of the COVID-19, reopened two Learning Center & Preschool locations and two Summer Day Camp locations to provide quality, affordable child care for parents who needed to return to work
- 185 children were provided with financial assistance to receive quality child care
- KidsPoint Child Care served 602 children through 2 Learning Center & Preschools multiple Before/After School and Summer Camp sites
- 98% of children who exited a KidsPoint Learning Center & Preschool were developmentally on-track for kindergarten
- In August, Waypoint took over management of the Survivors’ Program from Horizons
- The Survivors’ Program offers advocacy, resources, and support to survivors of and family members impacted by homicide and violent crime
- The program covers 14 counties in Iowa
During all of the changes and uncertainty, Waypoint also concluded a $3.3 million capital campaign to renovate KidsPoint Downtown and Waypoint’s main administrative building to provide enhanced safety and services offered to the community. Waypoint is hopeful that this momentum will continue throughout the remainder of 2020 so those in crisis can continue to receive they support they need to move forward.
Did you know that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month? During this time, Waypoint hosts the Gentleman Campaign© in an effort to raise funds and awareness to end domestic violence. The campaign was established in 2013 in an effort to recognize the “true gentlemen” in our communities who are willing to stand up against violence.
So many factors make it difficult for survivors to move forward from an abusive relationship, but Waypoint’s Victim Advocates are available to provide advocacy, resources, and support to allow each individual to learn and grow in ways that best fit their unique situation and needs.