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Family of Wood Stock, Inc.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By djonesjr2715
Words 800
Pages 4
Family of Woodstock, Inc.
Donald Jones, Jr.
BSHS/355 Delivery of Human Services
10 August 2015
Melody Gaeraths

Family of Woodstock Inc
The organization Family of Woodstock, Inc. is the result of one person seeing a growing need in the Woodstock community. This was after the 1969 festival which was named after the town of Woodstock that was an hour or more away from the site the festival had taken place. According to (Burger, 2011), “the once quiet little town of Woodstock was becoming overwhelmed with young people sleeping on benches in the town’s well known “green,” people hitchhiking in and out of the town, camping in parking lots, and seeking out food and clothing.” Burger, 2011 notes that Gail Varsi opened her home to those in need, which is something that no one would care to do in 2015. According to (Early Days at Family of Woodstock, 2013) “The late 1960s and early 1970s were idealistic times. A sort of smile-upon-your-brother-help-one-another feeling pervaded Family.” This is rare in our society today.

While being started in the living room of Ms Varsi with a single phone, the number of services that Family now provides has grown tremendously over the past 46 years. Today, according to (Burger, 2011),
“the agency services all of Ulster County, running programs such as the only domestic violence shelter in the county, a teen runaway shelter, several homeless shelters, several walk-in centers (still maintaining a “free store” and a food pantry) and case management services for adults and adolescents.”

Ms. Varsi’s eagerness to help those in need is the standard of Human Services, seeing a need in one’s community and taking action to fill that need. The organization is now referred to in it’s abbreviated form, Family. Family started out assisting youth between the age of 13 and 14 (Early Days at Family of Woodstock, 2013) that had runaway from home for one reason or another and was in need of counseling and social services. Ms. Varsi had sat up shop in her own home in the living room with one phone. The program that initiated by this need was called Midway, which still exists to this day.

In the past 40 plus years Family has expanded beyond the small town of Woodstock to 20 different programs in several different areas of New York State. These programs provide help 24 hours a day through hotlines, walk-in centers, emergency food, counseling, case management, free clothing and household items and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs as well as Domestic Violence prevention programs. All of these are an addition to the sheltering, case management, life skills education and outreach programs that they initially begin with. Family of Woodstock, Inc is a non-profit organization that runs all of these programs using resources donated by members and other organizations of the community.

The values, attitudes, and beliefs of this organization developed has not changed over a 40-year period. According to (Early Days at Family of Woodstock, 2013), “Peter Blum, who is now one the volunteer supervisors, says that this esprit de corps still pervades the organization today. He notes, “We are family.”” It should be inspiring to other organizations that all the people have changed and the services has expanded, they have not forgotten what has been described early on by (Early Days of Woodstock, 2013), “A sort of smile-upon-your-brother-help-one-another feeling”. The way that they deliver services have not changed or been altered, just expanded to encompass all of the needs that are realized in today’s communities. Specialization has become a trend across human services delivery, in general due to trying get trained professionals in specific areas as an attempt to assist clients better. Although there was no indication that Family of Woodstock, Inc. has switched to more specialized workers, it would only make sense with the programs that they offer. Clients that present initially with substance abuse problems need special attention to details that a generalist who is usually less trained can provide.

Family of Woodstock, Inc. is an organization worth working for and would help a person find self-worth in what they do as they give back to their community. If other human services agencies followed their template for services. The spirit in which the company was formed still exists even 46 years later, which is testament to how well, and how much they care.

References
Burger, W. R. (2011). Human Services in Historical Perspective. In W. R. Burger, Human Services in Contemporary America (8th Edition ed., pp. 126-130). Cengage Learning.
Early Days at Family of Woodstock. (2013, November 15). Retrieved August 5, 2015, from Woodstock Arts: http://rootsofwoodstock.com/2013/11/15/early-days-at-family-of-woodstock/

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