It’s been a little over a year since Christine Hockin – Boyd walked into the downtown McKinney Community Lifeline Center (CLC), having taken over the position of Executive Director in January of 2009. With the help of volunteers like Delphia Adeogun and Rebecca Moss, Hockin-Boyd has grown the center to more than 17 programs and 12 staff/volunteers during her short tenure.
Twenty years ago CLC was created by the ministerial alliance. It was their desire for churches to work together in ministering to those in need with charitable kindness. CLC provides support services, which include financial assistance for rent/mortgage, utilities and prescriptions, as well as providing referrals for medical and dental expenses and food. All of this is dependent on donations.
In the course of about 18 months, CLC has begun to once again be a viable resource for those in need. CLC has grown from a one woman show to a team of 12 and now offers a growing array of programs, including computer and budgeting classes.
CLC’s revival is certainly, in part, a credit to volunteers, now case workers, Delphia Adeogun and Rebecca Moss. Both have seen big changes at CLC since they began as eager volunteers in 2009 and both are now employed at CLC, thanks to a grant from the Meadows Foundation.
“It’s a whole different place now to what it used to be. The building has been repainted, we have computers, thanks to a grant from the McKinney Community Development Corporation, a new phone system is in place and we have more educational classes,” voiced Adeogun. Christine has a clear picture of what she wants this place to look like. She is big on education, instead of just giving money, so we don’t see the same people coming back over and over.”
It’s evident that Hockin-Boyd thinks highly of her staff. “Delphia and Rebecca continue to provide the professionalism and dignity that I desire to demonstrate to our clients. Their eagerness and willingness to help improve and strengthen our case management process is appreciated. I’m thankful that are on my CLC Team,” commented Hockin-Boyd.
What is the biggest hurdle CLC faces on a regular basis? Moss and Adeogun simultaneously agree that it’s funding.
“Funding is such an issue – we rely on donations, grants, local churches and we get some FEMA funding”, Adeogun reiterated.
Adeogun and Moss interview prospective clients who come in looking for help. The two help clients determine their financial needs as well as if there is a need for classes and counseling. Today’s economic climate has had an impact on the number of people who are seeking financial or other assistance. On average, Adeogun and Moss see about five to eight walk-ins daily.
According to Adeogun, “Lots have (clients) been laid off, we are seeing more people who are middle class who aren’t used to being in this situation (asking for help).
Moss said that recently one family had come in for help because they had exhausted all of their savings after being laid off from their jobs.
For now, CLC hasn’t turned away anyone who is looking for help, looking for ways to partner with other local agencies, such as Life Steps, which is a training program that combines job training, mentoring, and networking to help women develop skills and self-confidence in a supportive environment, and churches.
“A female Life Steps client, who needed assistance with rent because she had no job and her husband’s job was dependent on weather and we had had so much rain, took classes here and we assisted the family with partial rent payment. The client took our budgeting class and knew what she had to do to be able to take over paying her rent. She interviewed and got two job offers and ended up taking a job with WalMart. We checked on her recently and she has been promoted, is up to date with her rent payments and finished her classes through Life Steps,” remarked Adeogun.
Moss says she was drawn to CLC by the work that was being done to turn the place around after Hockin-Boyd arrived. She signed up to become a volunteer after a friend, who knew she was looking for a volunteer position, asked her if she would come in to help.
Adeogun, who wanted to find a way to volunteer with her 8 year old daughter, figured she could keep up her skills as a case manager.
“I asked myself, ‘Is this really what I want to do?’ said Adeogun, but Christine so influenced me – I loved her idea about this place – she was shocked when I said I’d volunteer every day.”
What, if anything, have Adeogun and Moss learned from their jobs?
“I don’t come in with any preconceived notions – no judgment, says Adeogun. I think I’m getting more than our clients. We can see results, which is very rewarding.”
Moss added, “I’ve learned a lot of life lessons…to be more careful with my finances, to be more compassionate with everyone – we never know what situation we may find ourselves in.”
Both women commented that they receive many statements of “thank you” at CLC each and every day