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The House of Friends, a community outreach program of Bethany United Methodist Church and supported by several churches in northwest Austin, provides respite to caregivers and enriches the quality of life of their loved ones with dementia through a loving, stimulating and safe community environment. This free program is open to all, regardless of religious affiliation, ethnicity, age or gender.

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IRS EIN: 74-2086912
Phone Number: 512-258-6017
Address: 10010 Anderson Mill Road
Austin, TX 78750
In 2018, House of Friends (HOF) celebrates 14 years of reaching out to dementia families in need and transforming lives with love and hope!
*Recruit more men to serve as companions for dementia participants in our Thursday social program.
* Build on the strengths of our educational learning partnerships with UT-Austin and Concordia University schools of nursing to foster greater understanding of dementia and share knowledge in an intergenerational community program setting.
*Partner with organizations to offer additional opportunities for caregivers to de-stress, connect with others and gain knowledge for their caregiving journey.
* Open a Decaf Café, a casual place where dementia persons, caregivers and friends can gather together for fellowship, a cup of coffee, and joy.
*Build an association of dementia respite programs in the Austin area.
*Continue to enlarge our sustaining grant, sponsor and donor support for our self-sustaining program.
*Continue to review and enhance our protocols to ensure a safe gathering place for vulnerable adults.
Since 2004 HOF has supported individuals and families touched by the social, psychological, emotional and physical losses of dementia. It is a joy-filled weekly dementia respite care program that builds fellowship, strengthens faith, bridges generations, reaches out to the community and provides nurturing love to its members. This program is offered free of charge to individuals with dementia who are being cared for at home by family members. It is a weekly program designed to give the family caregiver a four-hour respite. Participants interact socially with others in a highly structured but caring mode. As a teaching program, HOF education offers support to family members, volunteers, university nursing students, youth from pre-school to high school, and the community.

Impact Statement

House of Friends is a self-sustaining weekly social program for persons with dementia and their caregivers. It is a free community outreach program under the non-profit status of Bethany United Methodist Church.
In 2017,
* 596 individuals directly served over a scope of 11, 086 hours.
* HOF's passionate volunteers contributed 6,777 service hours, an in-kind blessing valued at $171,119 ( Supported up to 20 dementia clients weekly over 47 weeks.
* 48 organization sponsors provided in-kind and monetary support to enrich HOF. 12 Lunches for 45 underwritten by grantors or sponsor-provided.
* 4 grants, 3 fundraiser, generous contributions and in-kind support were key to meeting our budget. 2016-17 grant from LGR Foundation Fund of the Austin Community Foundation funded a quality sound system, shelving and bins for storage ease and safety, and Director's attendance at the Aging in America conference. A Health's Angels - St. David's Foundation Community Fund grant continued funding costs of our Student Nurse Educational Partnership that has provided hands-on experience for 112 students in 2017 and 900 area students since 2009!
* Volunteer groups from grantor Northwest Austin Rotary Club and mission partner Hope Presbyterian Church served as lunch volunteers, enlarging understanding of dementia and care.
* Ice Cream Social in July, underwritten by Alzheimer's Texas, featured Amy's Ice Creams and entertainer Jay Musfeldt. Other HOF social events included a Volunteer Luncheon and Christmas Luncheon.
* Outreach to 6, 871 individuals through monthly Support Group, dementia and caregiver education classes, grantors and sponsors, fundraiser, weekly e-news and mailings.
* Annual Satisfaction Survey of family caregivers gives an overall positive response, with an average satisfaction of 4.69 on a 5-point scale. Written comments and suggestions provide helpful feedback.

Needs Statement

Financial need areas include:
SUPPORTED PARTICIPANT: "Wow, it's time for lunch? The day has really gone fast. I love being here! I love singing!"
CAREGIVER: "The care from the volunteers is outstanding. I am grateful for the 1:1 buddy system. I never have to worry she will be lost in a crowd. I also love that you have live musicians, a hot lunch, a variety of activities, and good organization!"
VOLUNTEER: "I love being here. It's my happy place!"
NURSING STUDENT: "Respite care programs are an important part of providing holistic care - not just caring for a disease or illness, but caring for an individual as a whole." "You can tell the care and thought put into each aspect of the day." "The comfort of the families and participants was very apparent."
VISITOR: "It was so wonderful to spend the day at HOF. HOF is such a warm, love-filled program."
In Thursday daytime social program, companion volunteers buddy one-on-one with persons with early-mid stage dementia. Thursday service volunteers provide a craft, lead an activity, share a music talent or hobby, bring a food item for morning snack, help with organization of the weekly gatherings. Groups can provide a lunch or serve as lunch volunteers. Fundraising opportunities: join the fundraiser gala team, outreach to organization sponsors, help with marketing and several additional fundraisers during the year, assist with grants.