To say that not-for-profit organizations have faced a variety of challenges over the past several years would not only be fair, but probably a little bit of an understatement. Even with funding cuts, increased costs, and stricter program regulations and requirements, Opportunities for Broome continues to provide Broome County with an array of extensive services that are customer-driven and adaptive to the needs of the community. With the local economy struggling, OFB has seen an increased need for our services, including emergency assistance, safe and affordable housing, and quality educational programs. OFB continues to grow and enhance our programs and services, even through difficult economic times.
In 2015 we saw improvements to several of our facilities, both in our Housing Department, as well as our Head Start centers. Most recently, OFB completed a multi-million dollar renovation to one of housing buildings in order to provide 22 units of safe and affordable housing to chronically homeless individuals with a documented disability. Funding for these enhancements was received through several grants that OFB was awarded through local and state resources. These projects took place through collaborations/linkages with several local service providers and local businesses.
OFB has seen several programmatic improvements as well. We were able to enhance the supportive services that we provide to those individuals/families that reside in our housing, which will help to move them closer to their goal of self-sufficiency and independence. The OFB Supportive Housing program has expanded our comprehensive life-skills programming through additional linkages and collaborations, has created a new tenant association, and has added an additional Housing Family Advocate to meet the needs of the clients we serve. Our Head Start programs remained full-enrolled throughout the academic year. OFB has expanded our Head Start programming for next year by converting all of our classrooms to full-day programs. In addition to our existing Head Start Centers, OFB will now offer UPK and Head Start services in local schools, including Windsor, Union-Endicott, and Chenango Valley.
Fiscally, we remain in good shape. Despite some cuts, we are in a stronger place now than the year before. This was clearly shown through another excellent fiscal audit! We have been diligent in our budget preparations and have put ourselves in a good position to continue to grow and evolve our role in Broome County and its surrounding areas.
OFB is well positioned to not only meet the challenges that lie ahead, but to continue to grow and expand to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Through our dedicated staff and programming, OFB will continue to assist the most vulnerable throughout Broome County. Our 50 year history proves that the hard working people of Broome County will endure hardships, and live productive vibrant lives. I am proud to work for this organization, and promise to remain true to the cause!
Opportunities for Broome, Inc.