Open Home Toolkit
A knowledge resource of the Bezer Initiative
Bezer Mobilisation Network
Despite the government and various NGOs pouring in time, resources and effort into helping different people in crisis, many still fall through the cracks. One such group of people are youth at risk. The MSF tracks an estimated 1,000 youth who face uncertain shelter every year. Despite the large numbers of people in crisis, and the huge magnitude and scope of the challenges they face, few of us ever come into contact with such people in need - or know their stories.
Much more can be done if the community simply had greater involvement in helping such vulnerable groups or people in crisis. For instance, in just helping youth at risk, the role of the community cannot be overstated. We are currently working on developing a reliable network formed by families which, in partnership with agencies, can serve as a safe haven for youth-at-risk. These family units will provide an anchor of stability to the displaced youth, which will be complemented with their community’s intentional involvement.
To develop this, we will need to codify a cohesive model of community. This requires the inputs of the tripartite stakeholders (public, private, people) so that the system will be well considered. This process is important so that there can be a common understanding among stakeholders, leading to greater synergies. The tangible end product will be a toolkit that will enable anyone to engage in walking alongside the vulnerable in their community.
To structure this network, we will need a structured methodology in place. This is why we are designing and developing a comprehensive toolkit, aimed at laying out the principles, framework and rules of engagement for how the community can effectively contribute to helping people in crisis. The toolkit will provide practical guidance on how host families can help people in crisis, and hopefully make hosting less intimidating.
This toolkit will be made available to NGOs and government agencies and anyone in the community who desires to help people in crisis but is unsure of where to start. This will encourage the public as a whole by removing those first hurdles of inconvenience and lack of understanding on how to engage with people in crisis. For example, families who are interested in offering respite care or other means of support to persons-in-crisis would utilize this toolkit which will frame and explain potential options.
Our initial pilots on bringing the community into deeper engagement with people in crisis have yielded encouraging results. Apart from a successful workshop, we have experimented with journeying with two families to open up their homes for respite care. These families not only provided the respite care but continued to watch out for the youths after the respite care, expressing the desire to continue to do so in the long run. With more families coming on board, this toolkit will be essential in helping them smoothly transition into being part of the eco-system. Moving forward, future iterations of this initial toolkit may be developed to become a knowledge centre for stakeholders to share and retrieve knowledge.
We aim to raise $16,000 to fund concept and partnership development, codify a system of care, and ultimately, produce the toolkit. By coming on board as a financial partner, you will be contributing to a nationwide effort to protect, help and empower the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our country. With your help, we can sow seeds of hope into future generations, unify communities and strengthen the future of Singapore.
To find out more about the other aspects of the Bezer Initiative click on any of these links below.
Bezer Mobilisation Network
Interested to know more? Contact us and we would be glad to share with you more about this project and other projects and how you can be involved.