What happened to the 5 youth when the home suspended services?
The youth were placed in safe alternative situations ranging from foster care, reunification with their biological family, or another Youth Homes shelter.
What other options are there for Bitterroot Valley youth who may need your services during this time?
Youth Homes is still open and our shelters are currently running. They are open to taking any youth that may need services during this time.
Linda Massa Youth Home has a fantastic core staff that have served the Bitterroot for nearly twenty years–how is Youth Homes supporting them through this suspension?
14 staff members have been affected by this decision and will be furloughed. They will be recalled to work once the shelter reopens, with a plan to resume services this summer. Impacted employees will be eligible for unemployment insurance and Youth Homes will continue to fund the employer portion of their health insurance. Direct care staff have also been offered the opportunity to fill shifts in Youth Homes’ other residential programs.
What measures are being taken to address the Home’s short-staffing issues so that it is more successful when it reopens?
We are currently posting staff positions on various community job sites as well as contacting job services, soliciting qualified and committed staff to join our existing Linda Massa team. We anticipate opening with a staff of both full-time and relief workers to ensure we will be able to serve the youth in our care and maintain our licensing requirements for safety and the well-being of both staff and youth.
Did the cancellation of the 2020 Gala have any impact on this decision?
In the interest of community health safety, based on the advice of both local and national authorities, we made the very difficult decision to cancel our long-running Bitterroot Gala. As an organization, we unanimously agreed that the decision to err on the side of safety would best serve and affirm our commitment to care for all members of our community and not risk the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
I recently made a gift or give monthly to the Linda Massa Youth Home, how is my donation being used during this time?
The intent is for this to be a brief suspension of services as we focus on re-staffing the Home to best serve the youth in care. The financial needs of Home are ongoing throughout the year and we would be grateful for your continued support. If you would like to discuss your giving in more detail, please contact Amy Young, Development Director, at (406) 541-1652 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Does the home still need financial support?
While we are not directly seeking monetary gifts during this suspension we will not turn away gifts, our goal is that this will be a brief interruption of services. We look forward to engaging with our community for support as soon as we can open doors.
When can we expect to see Youth Homes reopen the home?
Our current plan is to resume services this summer (2020), once we have successfully rebuilt and enlarged our LMYH Team.
What staff positions are needed to reopen the home, where can interested applicants apply?
We are actively looking to fill the position of Program Director and will be adding on at least 10-15 workers including but not limited to: full-time youth counselors, part time youth counselors, and overnight staff positions. Please visit www.youthhomes.applicantpro.com/jobs/ for more details.
What else can we do to help?
First and foremost, we appreciate so much that you are eager to contribute during such a trying time and the time that you have invested in the kids we serve. Filling the open positions in the Bitterroot with passionate and qualified staff is of primary concern, so please help us get the word out. When we reopen, there will be an opportunity for giving that will help fund the operations of the shelter. Please stay tuned for that event. In the meantime, our Group Homes and Emergency Shelter in Missoula are in need of basic essentials–face masks, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. If you have the ability to donate any of these goods or volunteer your time to organizing a drive, that effort would be of huge help to us. Thank you for all you do!
Who can I contact for more information?
Gina Lee Gossett, Development Coordinator of LMYH, can be reached at email@example.com or (406) 375-5498
Skip Rosenthal, Executive Director of Youth Homes, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 541-1646