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CitySquare Update on May 19, 2024

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Between now and December, with a thoughtful, neighbor-centered plan, CitySquare will transition our vital programming to partner organizations. In the process we will support employees seeking new jobs. After we’ve transitioned the programs, the organization—the 501(c)3—will wind down.

CitySquare’s founding purpose was to end poverty and to connect our unhoused neighbors to housing and case management. The programs we transition will do that for as long as the community needs them.

As you know, our programs make a significant impact in our community. Our food pantry serves over 12,500+ neighbors, our housing case management and street outreach team serves almost 1,000 neighbors, and we help 2,341 neighbors navigate connections to health insurance and other vital resources.

Why now? When I joined the organization at the end of last August, I knew it faced challenges. I believed I had at least three years to get the ship righted, but what I discovered was a much larger funding deficit than even the Board knew about, which didn’t give me the runway to build our brand and regain a solid base of support. We have made all of the right decisions to center our neighbors, including this one.

Merging CitySquare programs with other, established programs makes the most financial and programmatic sense and will best serve the neighbors. I speak for myself, our Board, and my team when I say that’s why we’re here – for the neighbors. As many of you know, I am a neighbor myself, and I see my own struggles – and my subsequent resiliency and perseverance – in the people we serve.

Together, with a community-wide effort, we can make this campus a flourishing, thriving center of partners, neighbors, staff and stakeholders, wrapping their arms around each other and our neighbors, lifting them out of poverty and homelessness.

For our community partners who provide housing services: As we work through this transition our campus will remain open. Our goal is to ensure that our onsite programming continues. We will be working with Housing Forward to transition our housing programs to existing providers in the community. We hand distributed letters to our neighbors in our housing programs letting them know they will not lose their housing or services in this transition, but in the coming months the agency managing their services and their case manager may change.

For our campus partners and neighbors who utilize our other services: As we work through this transition our campus will remain open. Our goal is to ensure that our onsite programming continues. We will communicate any changes with partnerships or services as they occur.

I'm incredibly grateful to Lewis Weinger, our Board Chair, for his support and leadership, and to our key funders who support this thoughtful plan and are appreciative of how much effort has gone into ensuring sustainability for our neighbors and staff. I am also incredibly grateful for my Executive Team, Sara Craig and Karla Goss, who have become fellow heart-led champions of our work, and to the staff who remain faithful to our mission and continually put our neighbors first. You are the real superheroes.

from Annam Manthiram

Chief Executive Officer

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