Announcing Luzerne County’s Commitment to this Movement
Open Table is an international movement that started in a church and has become a shared purpose movement with all community sectors participating: faith, government, business, non-profits and others focused on using the power of one-on-one relationships to help individuals and families permanently out of poverty. In the model, a Table of 6 to 12 volunteers share a year of their lives, one meeting a week, to be in direct relationship with an individual or family. The Table members are not professionals, but are persons who share intellectual capital, contacts, social resources, and their lives with a “Brother or Sister”. The terms Brother and Sister are used because the entire Table becomes like family to each other. The model is evidence-driven, and results of research show that Brothers and Sisters build long term reciprocal supportive relationships which last for years. Most Tables are based in faith communities, but also can be delivered through other organizations such as business groups or civic groups.
The model currently is in over 26 states, and includes a number of faith/government partnerships where faith and government learn to pool their unique resources to help specific persons. Currently, efforts exist in adult re-entry from incarceration; with young adults aging out; with families where youth have complex emotional needs; other individuals with complex behavioral health needs, including substance abuse issues; and many others. Efforts include urban and rural demonstrations.
Similar to the Wraparound Model, which has served more than a million youth and families around the world, but independently developed, the model is driven by a Theory of Change. The Open Table Theory of Change includes the ideas that one on one reciprocal relationships are key; that the Table must always be a safe place free from social, religious, or political pressure; and that the Table model, although adhering to fidelity standards, is locally determined and developed (Open Table is a Training organization, not a services delivery organization). In Open Table, the Brother or Sister sets the agenda, has voice and choice and determines the pace, content, and overall focus of the Table.
The Open Table model is supported by a structured, research based, online training system for congregations and Table members called Open Table University. Open Table University provides access to experienced Open Table Navigators to directly assist congregations as well as a robust HelpDesk.
Open Table development in Luzerne County has begun. For more information or interest in becoming a table member or a congregation interested in becoming a licensed Open Table implementer, please contact any of the following:
Joe Kloss at (570)408-1332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Kolojejchick at (570)408-1360 or email@example.com
Need the help of a Table? We are currently accepting applications for young adults ages 18 to 21. Please complete the form below and return to Joe Kloss @ firstname.lastname@example.org or fax (570)970-5963