Author: Jim Womack
To say it has been a tough year for the FSS team would most definitely be an understatement. Just as we were getting settled in our new facility after losing our main office in a fire, most of our teammates have been uprooted yet again to work remotely. But our team members have bravely moved forward, and rather than focusing completely on what may or may not be coming our way, and with the help of our supporters, they have successfully shifted to focusing on the people who depend upon us. I am very proud of our team; they have exhibited true grit and resolve throughout.
We have all entered a routine that could last for a while. After hearing a constant barrage of bad news, these things will eventually not have the same amount of shock or impact as they do right now.
I remember my Grandmother talking about what it was like growing up in England during WWII. The Germans thought that if they bombed London and the surrounding area every day for years, eventually the British would surrender. Instead, it had the opposite effect, and the bombing became a part of life and no longer caused the same fear. The British became more resilient as they got used to the crisis. I believe that we will do the same (and hopefully it will not last that long!).
Getting through this crisis has required outside-the-box thinking and generous mindfulness in figuring out how to serve our clients. Our team has done this across our agency. The most recent example would be our Behavioral Health and Wellness team figuring out how to implement Trauma-Informed Yoga for survivors of trauma in an online setting; a test class was done last week, and classes for survivors will begin next week. This is in addition to all the other counseling services we have successfully transitioned to providing over a telehealth system.
Our Education team has shifted focus to making sure the families we serve have groceries and vital necessities, things to help with stress and learning, and more. Our Safe House staff continue to survivors who have escaped deadly situations. Our crisis advocates have also transitioned to provide telehealth services to clients in individual and group settings, as has our Veterans Resource Center team. And our administrative staff have continued to keep our office running both on-site and remotely.
This will all pass eventually, and folks will recall those who were greedy or acted without compassion for others. Likewise, they will remember who took care of them and did the right thing because it was the right thing to do.
When the dust settles, we will still be standing here- stronger than ever.
CEO, Family Support Services of Amarillo
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
About Jim Womack
Jim has 25+ years of experience in working towards making the Texas Panhandle a healthier and safer place to live. Jim first joined FSS in 1997, and worked as a shelter advocate and educator for several years before leaving to pursue other opportunities. Jim returned to FSS in 2013 as the Executive Director after serving as the Director of Planning and Public Information for Texas Panhandle Centers Behavioral and Developmental Health. Jim believes in fighting for the oppressed and providing people with the opportunity to live the best life that they can.