Client Feedback Guides Agency Services

Each year, DOORWAYS conducts a client satisfaction survey. Questions explore client perceptions of the agency’s environment and services. That includes the scope and value of our programs, accessibility and convenience, plus self-reported outcomes.

Our focus is to provide housing to create the foundation for a services home that enables clients who have endured a life of homelessness, poverty, and chronic illness to build health and life stability. Through DOORWAYS, they are able to step into a portal providing resources, knowledge, and a supportive environment encouraging behavior change. For example, in our 2020 survey, 86% of the respondents noted they are better able to manage their daily HIV medication regimen thanks to DOORWAYS supportive services. This is a critical milestone in contributing to better health and improved quality of life. Adherence to an antiretroviral therapy program can lead to HIV suppression. Achieving undetectable status renders the virus untransmittable, stopping the spread of new cases in the community.

The survey was sent to clients in 5 of our programs providing emergency, permanent, and transitional housing plus rent subsidies to prevent homelessness. A total of 317 clients returned the survey. Analysis of the responses calculated a 4.7 satisfaction rating on a scale of 1 to 5, with 92% and 95% of respondents, respectively, feeling their privacy and presence were being respected. Eighty-nine percent confirmed staff successfully conveyed available services with 90% reporting convenience in securing assistance.

Pat Plumley, MA, MSW, LNHA, serves as DOORWAYS’ Chief Program Officer. “In our 33 years of operation, DOORWAYS has adapted to client needs,” she stated. “This agility allows responsiveness to changing environments.” She discussed the first change in focus experienced by the agency that occurred with the introduction of new pharmaceuticals to treat HIV: “DOORWAYS shifted from hospice services helping people die with dignity to housing services helping people live with hope.”

The agency’s next transformation is currently underway. “As the depth and breadth of client need expands, it’s clear that we must refocus our service-enriched housing model,” noted Opal M. Jones, President & CEO of DOORWAYS. “Giving people a place to live can no longer be the first step in a linear progression of recovery. The heightened severity and combination of challenges experienced by our clients needs to be addressed together. Housing must become the base for a services home connecting clients with a comprehensive mix of resources to rebuild physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health simultaneously.” DOORWAYS 2.0 creates this network of support.

The idea was sparked through feedback from annual satisfaction surveys back in 2017 and 2018. Already operating beyond capacity, the agency initiated feasibility studies and focus groups that included clients. In 2019, the first capital campaign in DOORWAYS’ history was launched. Scheduled to open Summer 2022, the new campus will provide additional housing, programming space, and offices for client services provided by DOORWAYS staff and partnering agencies bringing their operations to the campus to remove access and navigational barriers. “This effort was guided by clients and for clients,” said Jones. “We are grateful to every client who trusts us enough to communicate the areas in their life that they can’t conquer alone. Their feedback has been heard and is becoming a reality.”

If you would like more information on the DOORWAYS Beyond Tonight Capital Campaign, please contact Jim Timmerberg, Director of Development (jtimmerberg@doorwayshousing.org or 314-328-2705).

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