On January 18, 1999, I walked through the doors of 2969 Main Street to begin my first day at Crisis Services as the Advocate Program Supervising Counselor. As I got ready for work that day, I knew this was different. I began on Martin Luther King Day. At crisis centers, holidays are like other days because we have to ensure the hotline is answered and those in crisis are never alone. I knew this day was going to change my life and it did.
As I head into my 19th year at Crisis Services this January, I am honored to lead our organization into the celebration of its 50th anniversary. We are ending our 49th year of service with excitement as we accomplished a major effort to move our mission forward. Three weeks ago, we moved to our new home at 100 River Rock Drive. What a wild few days it was to move our operations as we faced a few challenges. However, we did what we do best: problem solve and help resolve the crises in front of us.
Our team has been doing an amazing job of settling into our new space while resuming work as usual during a time of great change and adjustment in our new home.
This year has had a lot of moving parts for our organization to manage. I am so proud of what we have accomplished. I want to thank all our generous donors whose investments helped us lay the foundation of our new home and truly helping to build our future. We are busily planning for our open house in the New Year, so keep an eye out for those details.
Last week I visited our Main Street location to grab some final items. As I walked in I took pause to the silence in the building. Walking the halls, I reflected on the hundreds of thousands of people we supported on our hotline, the sound of our door opening and closing as our Mobile Outreach Counselors responded to those in mental health crisis, and the numerous survivors that sought safety through our therapy services.
As I entered in the hotline area, I had mixed emotions. Laughter of how the chairs were strewn about like the staff quickly left to get to our new place, while simultaneously having a visual of the significant impact on our community if these chairs were truly empty and the monitor that busily monitor our phone system calls was blank. I have had several people this past year talk about what would this community be like without Crisis Services. This picture brought this question to reality.
Crisis Services is the only 24 hour organization that provides excellence in crisis response services for our community. Because of the work of our crisis first responders those impacted by trauma begin to heal, hope is restored in moments of darkness, and advocacy provides empowerment to those overcoming abuse. Like police or fire, we are crisis first responders and part of the foundation of a healthy Buffalo.
As we do our work to ensure no one is ever alone, I ask you consider investing in our mission through a year-end gift. Consider honoring our crisis first responders with a holiday meal or share this newsletter, or our hotline information to help continue bringing awareness to our amazing services. We are your crisis center and your support helps to ensure the safety net we provide is forever strong so no one is ever alone.