Central Office Long-Term Sustainability Developing diverse and sustainable sources of funding was and continues to be a top priority for DREAM. In 2002, this effort focused on the development of a contract between DREAM and the organizations who manage the properties with which DREAM works. Ed Willenbaker and the Winooski Housing Authority (WHA) provided critically important support throughout this development. DREAM has operated at Templeton Court since the beginning of 1999 with no formal commitment or obligations as an organization. The commitment that has driven the program forward has been on an individual and informal basis between the Dartmouth students in the program and the residents of Templeton Court. In March of 2002, DREAM started a program at the Elm Street Apartments in Winooski, Vermont. DREAM had informal support from WHA, but both parties committed to working out a more formal arrangement that could be used as a template for agreements between DREAM and other housing agencies.
Section 3 Thank you to Mike McNamara, Fred Roane, and Audra Oullette The Vermont State Office of Housing and Urban Development has been a great resource for DREAM. Mike, Fred, and Audra have all been wonderful— providing DREAM with advice, information, support, and the use of their office facilities. Without their help, communications between the two DREAM offices would have been nearly impossible. Thank you!
The process turned into something much more complex than anyone anticipated, spanning over nine months and an estimated $6,500 paid to WHA’s lawyer for his involvement in the contract negotiations. All of the time and effort was worth it, because the contract is a solid document that will serve DREAM well. The contract spells out DREAM’s obligations for program operation: from the insurance we carry to the services we provide to the rules that we establish for the children in our program. There are some collaborative elements to the housing manager’s commitment in the contract, but the primary commitment made by the managing organization is financial. The financial support is divided between Local Program activities, high adventure support, and Central Office costs such as staffing and insurance. The financial burden placed on the housing authorities is not meant to reflect the full cost of running a program, but it is set up to establish a strong financial base for the organization. The Local Programs will continue to run fundraisers as their main source of funding, the high adventure groups will still have primary responsibility for raising the cost of their trip, and the Central Office will continue to seek the support of AmeriCorps, private foundations, public institutions, and private donors to maintain solid and diverse funding streams. As the organization grows to include more and more programs, however, the contracts will represent a greater and greater portion of Central Office funding. Eventually, DREAM plans for staff time spent on grantwriting and other development activities to be minimized to the point that all of our staff members will have a focus on our programs and services. Using the template developed with WHA, DREAM signed its first contract with the Burlington Housing Authority (BHA) on December 31, 2002 to start program services at Franklin Square in Burlington. The BHA agreement is a positive sign for plans to use the contract as a basis for all of our programs. In the future, DREAM will establish contracts with each new housing manager before initiating program services. DREAM will also approach the housing managers with which DREAM currently works to determine their openness to the concept of a contractual arrangement. DREAM is also exploring the possibility of similar support from colleges. 40
The DREAM Program's annual report!