NIBIC NEWS NOTES – FALL 2020
Hello NIBIC and SCA Corporate Chaplaincy Division Members,
This has been a year like no other. I hope that you all are hanging in there and finding sources of spiritual strength and serenity, as well as being able to help provide that for others you encounter.
At Worklife Institute we have had our Resource Center open since May, when Houston reopened, with a rigorous Public Safety Protocol in place. Since the Center is large, with a lot of open space, we have been able to reconfigure it to provide for safe in-person sessions, workshops and seminars with social-distancing, masks on and hand-sanitizer. It is working well, and we get lots of thanks, because people are really feeling the social isolation and looking for a safe place to come.
Each quarter we have sent out a Survey Monkey questionnaire to all our clients to, in addition to our one-on-one contacts, keep on top of what their situations and their greatest needs are. Into the Fall, many are still having trouble getting through to the state Workforce Commission for their unemployment compensation, etc. Many had been furloughed or lost their jobs by April, and as of October, only about one-third of the Houston area jobs have been restored. The city and county put in an eviction delay, which has helped some of our clients, 70% of whom are renters. We have been able to find sources of emergency funding which has assisted some of our neediest families.
The most asked for workshops are in financial advisement, including budgeting and debt help, so we have added to our financial literacy series. They also ask for help with self-care and anxiety reduction. We are partnering with Easter Seals, which has put together a great series of virtual support groups. The other area of interest is how to update civilian and federal resumes. The Joint Reserve Base at Ellington Field had asked us this summer to create virtual workshops on both and to present them on a ZOOM-like platform for the Reservists and their families. I’ll attach a copy of the PowerPoint for the civilian resume presentation, hoping that it can be of use to you for your clients.
Another resource that came our way is a free six-hour Coursera class developed by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health to train contact tracers. We have shared this with a number of our clients who think they may be interested in becoming employed as contract tracers, and it is a great resource for us as spiritual care providers. It has been out since May and getting very good reviews by those we’ve had take it. Here is the link to the press release: hub.jhu.edu/2020/05/11/free-contact-tracing-course-johns-hopkins. In the article there is a link: “COVID-19 Contact Tracing”. Click on that and it takes you to the registration page.
Since this Spring when NIBIC populated the SCA Corporate Chaplaincy page, the Division has been attracting new members. We hope they will sign in as NIBIC members as well. One new participant is Susana McCollom, who also lives in Houston and has worked with the Medical Center’s Institute for Spirituality & Health as Director of Ethnography and Workplace Chaplaincy. She wrote that she was excited to learn about NIBIC. We’ve visited by phone and are looking forward to getting together soon, hopefully this next week. Let’s each do our part to introduce more folks to the Division and our work. I am attaching a copy of our NIBIC membership information form for you to use.
Please email folks on the list above with resources you are finding helpful this year, and in this way we can support one another. May we all find and be Blessings this Fall.
Chaplain Diana Dale, NIBIC Executive Director