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Family of Woodstock Inc. Paper

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Family of Woodstock, Inc. Paper
Maria Garcia
BSHS 355
June 16, 2014

Family of Woodstock, Inc. Paper
In 1969 an event started and is now considered a pivotal moment in popular music history began. This even was Woodstock. Woodstock was a music event that lasted three days. Although this event was not held in the actual town of Woodstock the name stuck. It attracted over an audience of 400,000 young people. There were 32 acts that performed to an audience outdoors. After this event began, it made the actual town famous. Prior to Woodstock, the town was once a quiet little town. After the event, many of the young people began coming to Woodstock to escape the confines of the world that they lived in. With all these young people arriving in the once quiet little town, the town began seeing these young people sleeping on benches, camping in parking lots, and seeing them looking and asking for food and clothing. Many of the young people also hitched hiked in and out of the town. A community member took noticed and believed that something had to be done. This person was Gail Varsi.
Gail Varsi began to see all of these young people in the community in need of food, shelter, and clothing and decided to take action. Gail began to open her home and her own phone line to people who really needed it. Gail began to get help from local businesses, community members, and clergy. She had organized food drives, clothing exchanges, and she also raised some money to be able to send some of the young people back to where they were from (Burger, W.R., 2011). This was the beginning of how the Family of Woodstock, Incorporated started. The original phone number that Gail had in 1969 is the same number to this day. The Family of Woodstock, Incorporated mission statement states, “They provided confidential and fully accessible crisis intervention, information, prevention, and support services to address the needs of individuals and families (familyofwoodtockinc.org)
The Family of Woodstock Incorporated Inc., began with just one person’s beliefs, values, and attitude to help those in need. This organization has evolved over the years and continues to grow with the needs of the community. This organization that began in Woodstock has expanded to serve all of Ulster County. It went from helping young people with meeting their basic needs to being one of the only programs with a domestic violence shelter in the county, a teen runaway shelter, they have several homeless shelters, several walk in centers (to this day they still have a free store and a food pantry) and case management services for adults and adolescents (Burger, W.R., 2011). As this organization evolved, they saw a need to develop other programs to help as many as they can that were in need of services. They saw people needed help in several different situations in the community.
This organization continues to observe their community and develop new programs when they see a need for it such as the MidWay Program. This program was developed to help teenagers and young adults have a place to stay. These teenagers and young adults were not really runaways but due to problems like domestic violence, sexual assault in the home, their parents drug abuse or incarceration, or being neglected they did not have a safe place to stay. These children did not have the necessary skills to be able to maintain a manageable lifestyle on their own so the MidWay Program offered them a place to stay for up to twenty four months. The ages of these people were between 16- 20 years old. This program taught them daily living skills. Some of the living skills these teens and young adults were taught was budgeting, laundry, grocery shopping, and other skills such as effective communication and relationship building (Burger, W. R., 2011). The plan for this program is to teach them how to successfully be able to live independently on their own. Many case managers were provided to help these clients with getting them the help that they needed. Plans and referrals were also provided for them.
Our society continues to grow each year. Because of this growth there comes many changes to our society, in the human service system, they must keep up with all these changes and growth and develop new and different ways to meet client’s needs. One of the ways to meet these changes is specialization. Human service workers are now specializing to meet the client’s needs. Instead of a human service worker being a generalist, they specialize to be able to better help and understand their clients.
Our society has changed and evolved since 1969 and it continues to change. It only took one person to want to make a change. One person seen a need to help others in her community and did everything that she could to do so. With the help of the community this person was able to develop an organization that has evolved over the years to meet the needs of the community.

References
Burger, W. R. (2011). Human services in contemporary America (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
www.familyofwoodstockinc.org

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