Consistency is the Key to Success
As we stressed in training, the need for consistency from Host Site to Host Site is very important. Prior to starting COFM, we researched other long-established shelter programs and learned that consistency is the key to success. Shelter operations run much more smoothly and safely week to week if all Host and Shelter Partners are consistent. We strive for harmony, compatibility, and uniformity. We ask all volunteers to adhere to COFM policies and procedures.
When shelter guests understand that all Host Sites are operating by the same set of rules and stick to the established time schedules, they quickly learn that, although their location changes each week, they can rely on and respect our scheduled times and rules of operation.
Think about this, we offer 18 weeks of shelter. Imagine if every Host Site changed just one rule. One site adds an extra smoke break, the next site allows hats, the third starts distributing sleeping mats at 7:30, the fourth allows guests to come in for dinner and then leave. By the fifth week the previous sites have now put the next Host Sites in a difficult position.
Shelter guests are now telling the Host Sites how to run the shelter program. Please remember this when a persuasive guest tries to get you to amend the rules to meet their personal needs. We understand it isn’t always easy to stick to the rules, some volunteers become emotionally involved, but please honor our policies as this protects the integrity of the program and allows shelter operations to run much more efficiently.