Mountain Home Montana’s
Strategic Plan 2020-2023
2020-2023 Strategic Plan
UPDATE: December 1, 2020
- Keep going. Continue changing lives two generations at a time through basic needs, life skills support, and therapeutic services.
Update: When we created this goal back in fall of 2019, we had no idea the dramatic effort that would be required of us to simply “keep going” during a global pandemic. Yet, COVID-19 made our critical services that much more crucial for so many families already living on the edge, so our staff, board, and community of supporters rose to the challenge of keeping our residential programs safe and open through all the phases of the pandemic. Meanwhile, we adapted our wraparound support to include remote mental health services, parenting classes, and engaging online opportunities for connection. And it’s working. As one current Mountain Home mom put it, “My biggest struggle before coming to Mountain Home was trying figuring out my life again. I had just lost everything. I had just lost my job, got evicted from my apartment, and got my son taken by the state. I was also struggling with drug addiction. Mountain Home helped me get through the toughest part of my life. The support I was able to get through them was amazing. I couldn’t of done it without everyone who supported me.”
- Start earlier. Partner with experts to create a state-of-the-art model for children’s services, including trauma-informed childcare.
Update: Mountain Home has hired a children’s therapist who uses a family-based approach to helping very young children overcome trauma, build resiliency, and enjoy healthy relationships.
As well, we’ve submitted a building permit to Missoula County to add approximately 600 square feet to our 700 square foot community room to create a 1300 square-foot child care space. We’ve raised the majority of the funds we need to get started both with the building and with operations, and have hired a Child Care Director to lead us in creating a licensed child care center onsite. The hope is that we will be open to children by spring of 2021, potentially starting with a limited number of children until the building addition is complete. By the end of 2021, we should be able to serve at least 12 children at a time through our new child care.
And, we even have a name! Ariya’s Early Learning Center will be named in honor of the granddaughter of our Mountain Home founder & donors, Laura & Michael Snyder. Ariya Jaymes Leitch died at only five months old due to a rare genetic condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Even though her time with us was too short, she brought into this world an abundance of love, which lives on. Ariya’s Child Care celebrates the beauty in all of life’s little moments, whether we get a lot of them or only a few. Our mission is to nurture the precious relationship between young children and their grown-ups, just as Ariya had with hers.
- Build infrastructure. Build onsite childcare space and remodel current facilities.
Update: The building plans for Ariya’s Early Learning Center were summarized above, and we are also near completion on two other significant infrastructure improvement projects! The first revamped the mental health center to add three new service spaces. Between 2016 and 2019, Mountain Home grew from serving approximately 50 young moms a year to 75, added a team-based mentorship program and also a pilot program with students at Willard Alternative High School. Because of that rapid growth, we were simply out of room to continue providing quality care, especially private meetings with therapists and case managers. The new spaces have helped us catch up.
The second project updated our group home. In the kitchen, the new cabinets, counters, and appliances are durable with easy-to-clean surfaces, which became even more of a priority during COVID-19. We also built a new patio and entry-way to reduce stroller “traffic-jams,” and renovated both the foyer and basement to better accommodate community donations. We also re-sided the entire exterior of the group home to create a more cohesive look between the “old” and “new” buildings. We are waiting until the spring to paint the exterior of the house and improve our landscaping, but already clients are enjoying the more accessible and welcoming interior spaces!
- Connect widely. Collaborate with like-minded agencies to broaden our impact and create transformational relationships for moms and for Mountain Home.
Update: By expanding our Supported Employment and Education Program, Mountain Home partners with Willard Alternative High School to empower young women in setting and achieving goals for their future, including avoiding unplanned pregnancy. While COVID has reduced the number of students we’ve been able to work with, our part-time staffer devoted to this prevention program has a full case load and has developed creative ways to connect both remotely and, where possible, in person.
Meanwhile, our Open Table team-based mentorship program has launched four “tables” with six volunteers each. Each table supports one Mountain Home family on their life journey, helping overcome transportation or housing barriers, but even more importantly providing healthy relationships to families who have so few other people that they can count on for support.
More broadly, Mountain Home is a leader in our local Zero to Five coalition and the At-Risk Housing Coalition, and actively participates in statewide collaborations promoting access to mental health as well as better social safety nets. Just like the moms we serve, we know our organization can’t achieve all of our goals alone. By strengthening healthy relationships with others, we can all thrive.
The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan was created by Mountain Home Leadership Team and adopted by Board of Directors on October 23, 2019