Umbrella Transition Program

THE UMBREELLLAA TRANSITION PROGRAM

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More Than WORKING HARD & CONTINUED GROWTH Finding A HOME HAND IN MADISON, WI A Helping THE APPROACH & EXPANSION

SUSTAINABLE! Starting SOMETHING For A Better tomorrow

608.359.9412

2129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704

A Helping Hand in Madison, WI A Helping Hand in Madison, WI

RODNEY ALEXANDER, THE PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE UMBRELLA TRANSITION PROGRAM, GREWUP ON THE WEST SIDE OF CHICAGOWITH NINE BROTHERS AND SISTERS. WHILE HE WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO NEVER HAVE BEEN HOMELESS HIMSELF, HE CAME CLOSE TO IT AT TIMES AND HIS FAMILY CERTAINLY KNEW WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO STRUGGLE. “I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE AND I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS THAT COME WITH BEING HOMELESS OR LIVING IN AN IMPOVERISHED AREA,” SAYS RODNEY. THAT ISWHY HE FOUNDED THE UMBRELLA TRANSITION PROGRAM, A PROGRAM AIMED AT GETTING THE HOMELESS COMMUNITYOFMADISONBACKONTHEIR FEET. THE APPROACH AT THE UMBRELLA TRANSITION PROGRAM, RODNEY BELIEVES THAT INDIVIDUALIZED ASSISTANCE IN COMBINATION WITH A COMMUNITY APPROACH IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. DUE TO THIS, EVERY INDIVIDUAL THAT SEEKS OUT THE PROGRAM WILL BE ASSESSED FOR THEIR OWN SPECIFIC, PERSONAL NEEDS DURING THE INTAKE PROCESS. DEPENDING ON THE INDIVIDUAL, PERSONAL NEEDS MIGHT MEAN MAINTAINING SOBRIETY, FINDING JOB STABILITY OR RENTING AN APARTMENT. DURING THE PROGRAM, MEMBERS WILL ALSO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND GROUP THERAPY SESSIONS AND FORM CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PROGRAM ASWELL AS THE STAFF. TO ASSIST WITH THE PROCESS, RODNEY WORKS WITH HOUSING MANAGEMENT IN THE MADISON AREA TO FIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR THOSE WHO ARE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND MOVE INTO THEIR OWN PLACE. HE ADDITIONALLY TALKS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES TO SECURE JOBS FOR A WIDE RANGE OF SKILL SETS THATWILL APPEAL TOTHOSE INTHE PROGRAM.

EXPANSION

GIVEN THE IMPACT THAT THE PROGRAM HAS ALREADY MADE IN JUST A YEAR’S TIME, RODNEY IS LOOKING TO EXPAND THE UMBRELLA TRANSITION PROGRAM. HE IS LOOKING TO EXPAND NOT ONLY TO OTHER LOCATIONS IN MADISON, BUT IN MILWAUKEE AND OTHER AREAS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AS WELL. WHILE RODNEY CERTAINLY HAS ASPIRATIONS OF EXPANDING THE PROGRAM PHYSICALLY, HE ALSO HAS SEVERAL NON- TANGIBLE GOALS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL WHO ENTERS THE PROGRAM. RODNEY SAYS, “THE BIG DREAM AND GOAL FOR THIS PROGRAM IS GETTING THE PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS SOMEBODY HERE THAT CARES AND IS WILLING TO HELP THEM HELP THEMSELVES—AND GETTING PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND ‘YOU CAN DO THIS,’ NO MATTER HOW BAD THINGS GET YOUCANBOUNCE BACK.”

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Volunteering for the better A story about Abhik. V olunteering, has always been an essential part of Abhik’s life. Coming from a place of kindness

There’s a problem with the local gov- ernment; a local state official com- mented, “we can’t help homeless people and let them in our shelters because of their violent behavior and problems and addiction.” Abhik finds these words to be a complete lie. Ev- eryone is different, and they don’t suf- fer from the same problems. Having a place where people can come togeth- er to support one another and finally break the cycle is the Umbrella transi- tion program’s focus. Focusing on helping people better their futures and themselves is something Abhik is constantly focused on while working with the residents of the Um- brella Transition house. Meeting to- gether a few times a week gives Abhik the resources needed to discuss ways for residents to create a better future for themselves and those around them.

Transition Programs mission. How- ever, it was a short-term solution to the problems that needed to be solved. Being on the first line of de- fense means that Abhik saw the cy- clemany homeless people had gone through. People would be cycled through shelters and then pushed back out without the support they need. That’s what led to the creation of the Umbrella Transition house.

and an immense willingness to help, Abhik joined the Umbrella Transition Program.

Shown: Umbrella Transition House PHOTO

Growing for more

One of the first main focuses of the Umbrella Transition Program was feeding the homeless in what is known as tent cities throughout Madison. Giving out food to help those in need was something that first attracted Abhik to the Umbrel- la Transition Program. However, as president Rodney Alexander want- ed to continue growing the program, Abhik supported him. Helping to look for properties to start the tran- sition house was an essential step in continuing to grow. Helpingwith the future “We needed a long-term solution,” said Abhik. Handing out food was an essential step in the Umbrella

Cal l Umbrel la Transi t ion 608.359.9142

Slippery slope Despite some lingering questions, researchers were able to show the significance of the economy’s role in problematic substance use.The study showed that even a small change in the unemployment rate can have a tremendous impact on the risks for substance abuse disorders. “For each percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate, these estimates represent about a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of having a disorder involving analgesics and an 11 percent increase in the likelihood of having a disorder involving hallucinogens,” the authors write. “For each percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate, these estimates represent about a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of having a disorder involving analgesics and an 11 percent increase in the likelihood of having a disorder involving hallucinogens,” the authors write. Previous studies have focused on the economy’s link to marijuana and alcohol, with many looking at young people in particular.This study is one of the first to highlight illicit drugs, which given the current opioid epidemic, holds important lessons for those working to curb problematic drug use. Previous studies have focused on the economy’s link to marijuana and alcohol, with any looking at young people in particular.This study is one of the first to highlight illicit drugs, which given the current opioid epidemic, holds important lessons for those working to curb problematic drug use. Slippery slope Despite some lingering questions, researchers were able to show the significance of the economy’s role in problematic substance use.The study showed that even a small change in the unemployment rate can have a tremendous impact on the risks for substance abuse disorders.

When it’s needed most The study bears significant weight for treatment facilities and public policy makers in particular. During economic downturns, government agencies typically look to cut spending on treatment programs as a way to save money, something researchers say may be more costly in the end. “Our results suggest that this is unwise,” Carpenter says. “Such spending would likely be particularly effective during downturns since rates of substance use disorders are increasing when unemployment rates rise, at least for disorders involving prescription painkillers and hallucinogens.”  When it’s needed most The study bears significant weight for treatment facilities and public policy makers in particular. During economic downturns, government agencies typically look to cut spending on treatment programs as a way to save money, something researchers say may be more costly in the end. “Our esults uggest that this is unwise,” Carpenter says. “Such spending would likely be particularly effective during downturns since rates of substance use disorders are increasing when unemployment rates rise, at least for disorders involving prescription painkillers and hallucinogens.”

“Spending would likely be particularly effective during downturns since rates of substance use disorders are increasing when unemployment rates rise.”

“Spending would likely be particularly effective during downturns since rates of substance use disorders are increasing when unemployment rates rise.”

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2129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704

608.359.9412

Moving

Forward

A Story about Chris Brodell

The Umbrella Transition Program has allowed many people to transition from being homeless to finding their housing steady jobs. Based out of Ohio, the Umbrella Transition program hopes to continue growing and gainingmore success stories like Christopher Brodell. Coming from Hardship Coming from the harsh environment of Chicago, Brodell had to grow up quickly, learning how to take care of himself and those around him. Taking care of himself was never an easy task at a young age. He found himself in situations that only made his journey to finding a stable living place even harder. Jail visits made his situation to finding a job and appropriate living terrible conditions. However, after moving down to Ohio, he found himself in a new place with no money and no one around him. The Umbrella Transition Program at the time was feeding the homeless population in their local Ohio area when they came across Brodell. Taking a chance with a new property, the Umbrella Transition Program decided to accept Brodell into their transition house. “We don’t discriminate; well, help anyone we can to our best ability,” says Umbrella Transitions President Rodney Alexander.

“Within two months, I was already in my own place with a steady job.” -Brodell

For a better tomorrow “Within two months, I was already in my own place with a steady job,” Brodell stated from inside his own space. Since joining the Umbrella Transition Program, Brodell had gone from homelessness to security. Finally, he had a place to call his own and is looking toward a future with his son. Brodell’s next step is finding a suitable living place for himand his son, who he recently received full custody of. With dreams of becoming a soul food chef and starting his own restaurant, Brodell looks back at his time at the transition house. The hard work he put in was worth the reward.

The Umbrella Transition Program

CONTACT US TODAY 608.359.9142 2129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704

Meet One of the umbrella transition Program’s co-founders

addict wanting a fresh start or you were raised in poverty and haven’t yet found a way out, The Umbrella Transition Pro- gram is willing to accept you and work with you. Building community Aside from offering individual need based assistance, The Umbrella Transi- tion Program has a strong community aspect as well. In fact, Anupama sees herself not only as a member of the staff, but also as an active member of the house and community. Her role includes setting up the house for new members, facilitating transitions and doing twice daily check-ins with each member. Anupama says, “The check-ins go further than everything on a clinical level. It’s also like we are all members of the same community, so we treat each other as such. In the same way I might be asking them about their life, I would be sharing about mine as well.”

Anupama Bhattacharya

A nupama Bhattacharya is a co-founder of The Umbrella Transition Program. She met Rodney back in the summer of 2020 at a protest for the murder of George Floyd. At the time, she had been working for another organization that wanted to make a change, yet only provided the homeless with short-term assistance— such as putting them up in a hotel for the night or giving them a free meal— as opposed to something sustainable. Anupama was thrilled to connect with Rodney and the other organizers for the program because they all wanted the same thing: a long-term solution. That’s why they founded The Um- brella Transition Program, which has already helped many people in the Madison area transition out of hom- lessness. Individualization Unlike most organizations with a sim- ilar mission, The Umbrella Transition Program works one-on-one with each individual in order to jump-start a better, brighter future in which they are not simply taken care of, but rather are self-sufficient. Anupama believes that building habits and skills that are sustainable for each unique individual

is a key factor for success. Anupama says, “Being a space that is open to everybody is rare; there are very few spaces that will accept every single situation.” She prides herself and the program on the fact that it is not built to serve just one kind of person or situation. Instead, whether you find yourself homeless due to circumstances beyond your control (such as business shut- downs due to the pandemic), are an

Shown: Resident of umbrella transitin program PHOTO

Being a space that is open to everybody is rare; there are very few spaces that will accept every single situation. “ ”

CONTACT US TODAY 608.359.9142 2129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704 CONTACT US TODAY 608.359.9142 129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704 CONTACT US TODAY 608.359.9142 2129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704

The Umbrella Transition Program CONTACT US TODAY! The Umbrella Transition Program CONTACT US TODAY! 608.359.9142 129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704 608.359.9142 2 129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704

U nlike the assumptions many people make about those who are homeless, Tyrone Henry is both a hard worker and someone who always looks after others. Unfortunately, being a second generation immigrant and the primary caregiver to his father, Tyrone ended up in a situation that he never thought he would be in. Luckily, The Umbrella Transition Program was there to help. LOSING EVERYTHING “I grew up between America and Jamaica, so as a kid I traveled a lot,” says Tyrone. Tyrone’s parents were from Jamaica; his mother died when he was young. His father switched jobs frequently, so he moved around and stayed with different relatives. His father recently passed away at the age of 84 and before he died, Tyrone wanted to bring him back to his home country of Jamaica to spend time there. He quit his job and sold his house to go to Jamaica for a year and when he returned, it was as if he had to start

all over—and find a new job and a new house. Luckily, after being in the program for several months, Tyrone was able to find a job and has begun working again. He will also be moving into his own place very soon! SOMEONE WHO CARES Tyrone says, “It’s a great program because not everybody necessarily has a certain type of struggle and even when they do they sometimes just need that care, you know when someone cares and will just give you the opportuni- ty to get back on your feet that way you don’t necessarily feel all alone in the struggle.”

Tyrone feels extremely grateful for The Umbrella Transi- tion Program and all that they have done for him. He even gives back by cleaning the house and assisting the staff with various tasks on a daily basis.

“It’s a great program because not everybody necessarily has a certain type of struggle.” – Tyrone Henry Finding More Than a

TYRONE HENRY

“You know when someone cares and will just give you the opportunity to get back on your feet that way you don’t necessarily feel all alone in the struggle.”

– Tyrone Henry

Home

2129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704 608.359.9412

Greg Borrilo

Working Hard & Continued Growth

T he Umbrel la Transition Program is open to help anyone who needs it. Working with local apartment bui ldings and job recruiters, the Umbrel la Transition Program works to help people get back to where they were before their experience with homelessness. Working Hard & Continued Growth

Working Hard

However, while he focuses on working hard and gaining money, he needs to find a stable living situation. An essential aspect of living at the Umbrella Transition house is to find a steady income to afford stable housing. Therefore, taking care of your finances is one of the crucial aspects the Umbrella Transition Program works on with its residents.

house. Looking back at his time spent there so far, Borrilo is proud of the work he has put in so far and is happy to have the full support of the Umbrella Transitions residents and coordinators behind him.

Coming into the program, Greg Borrilo was suffering from homelessness after he sepa- rated from his family. It wasn’t easy coming from a new place and finding a steady job. The lack of a job and prior renting experi- ence made it hard for Borrilo to find a stable living situation. Moving into the transition house wasn’t always an easy situation, espe- cially with a constantly changing dynamic of people. However, Borrilo worked hard to keep the house clean and follow the rules put in place for all that lived in the home. It was about keeping a peaceful balance of respect and individuality when living in the house. With people constantly transitioning because of the program coordinators’ hard work, learning to adapt was a big part of day-to-day life. However, Borrilo learned and adapted to his new surroundings become a star in the tran- sition house. “The program didn’t ask for anything; they just wanted to help me,” stat- ed Borrilo. Working closely with recruiters, the Umbrella Transition program was able to find Borrilo a steady job laying concrete.

Continued Growth

Borrilo says, “I want to work hard to help the program like they helped me.” Con- tinuing to work hard at his job is Borrilo’s primary focus as he gains the funds needed to move out of the Umbrella Transition

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CONTACT US TODAY! 608.359.9142 2 129 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53704

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