City Union Mission’s guest coordinators “are the backbone of what we do. Without them, we could not complete our mission,” says Stephen Chichester, Men’s Ministry Director.
As front line staff at the Men’s Center, guest coordinators work hard to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the homeless men of Kansas City.
City Union Mission sought to sharpen existing skills of their guest coordinators, such as self-awareness, best practices of communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, and workplace readiness.
Self-awareness: “You cannot control how someone else behaves but you can control how you respond as a successful guest coordinator. The men we serve are likely experiencing their worst day. We have to be the calm in their storm. When we are self-aware, we are more conscientious of how we are communicating through both verbal and non-verbal communication. When we respond, we are able to make decisions that are not emotionally charged and think clearly about the consequences of our decisions.”
UMKC TalentLink provided training on durable skills by expert instructor Jeremy Gray customized for City Union Mission’s team of guest coordinators. Training sessions were delivered onsite and in person over multiple days.
“This training was invaluable to our organization, due to the breadth of training addressed at such depth. There were so many useful topics addressed that were of immeasurable value to our team and immediately applicable to their positions. Our team members talked about the importance of these skills and discovered new ways to apply them in their personal and professional lives.”
“UMKC TalentLink has been remarkably professional and strikingly kind. The communication they have offered has consistently been timely and clear.”
City Union Mission serves the homeless men, women, and children of the Kansas City area by meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Stephen Chichester, Men’s Ministry Director
To meet their physical needs, we provide 3 meals per day for our guests, a warm bed for the guests to sleep in, and showers for the guests. We also supply necessary hygiene products graciously donated by the Giving the Basics organization.
To meet their emotional needs, our guest coordinators realize that when we meet a homeless man that we are meeting him on, possibly, his worst day. We respond to these men with compassion, understanding, and patience. These men are understandably upset and can be easily irritated when they come to our center. To meet their emotional needs, we start by listening. We listen to their fears, frustrations, and stories. We try to create an environment where they feel cared for and protected by understanding their emotions and allowing them to have a safe place to feel their feelings; even, and especially, the “hard” feelings.
To meet their spiritual needs we have staff that are trained and experienced in providing chapel services and biblically sound encouragement. We seek opportunities to have spiritual conversations with our guests because we are committed to sharing the gospel with the guests of our centers.
Guest coordinators work evenings, weekends, overnights, and holidays. While the rest of us get to spend those valuable hours with our families, these selfless men spend these valuable hours meeting the needs of the homeless men of Kansas City.