X-Tending Hands Strengthening Central Florida Community
X-Tending Hands, Inc., is a grassroots agency dedicated to providing quality services to HIV/AIDS positive men and women living in the Central Florida region. Having received 501(c)(3) status in 2004, XTH’s mission is to provide support to homeless persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS which includes: housing, guidance, referrals, food, clothing, education, and daily living skills in a homelike environment.
The Strengthening Communities in Central Florida Program came at a good time, considering the agency wanted to expand its services to more clients and community members in the area.
Prior to the training and financial assistance provided by the grant, the agency duties and activities were all done by the Executive Director Barbara Hoosier. The agency lacked an engaged board and had minimally trained staff. The capacity building project has allowed the agency to address these issues.
For instance, XTH has used the technical assistance, capacity building workshops, and financial assistance to invest in staff and board development. XTH also hired a consultant to train the board on various aspects of managing the agency. Also, technical assistance and monthly trainings have assisted the agency in program development, evaluation, and data collection to ensure clients are being served appropriately with positive outcomes.
With the support of SCCFP, XTH has started its Strengthening Communities initiative, along with their Workforce Readiness program and Healthy Living. Even though these programs are still at the beginning stages, the outcomes have already been noticeable. The number of clients served has increased, as well as the effectiveness of each program.
For example, more of the agency's clients are living a healthy lifestyle, learning employment skills, obtaining interviews, and getting jobs. These programs have also been a success due to the collaborative efforts involved in the SCCFP project. The agency hopes to maintain its collaborative relationships in future endeavors.
Strategic planning has allowed the agency to plan for programs in the future, while also budgeting for the expenses linked with them. The agency can now look at the big picture. The staff and board understand their positions and the key roles they play in making the mission/vision of the agency a reality.