Proper staffing is essential in creating the loving and nuturing environment needed for these neglected children. Additionally, most countries, states and local governments have laws that effect staffing requirements.
At Hope House Mexico there are two different types of staff serving to bring hope to the boys. The first are regular staff that are paid to keep the home running efficiently and lovingly on a 24/7 basis. Imagine upwards of 30 boys that must be taken care of with regard to feeding, care, school, clothes, laundry and all the other aspects of raising them. The other staff we have are volunteers, people who, with no salary, give of their time and talents. These staff do two things. First, they offset operational costs and secondly and they help in various positions to provide a quality, Christ-centered home.
Administrative staff: These consist of the Director, Administrator and Office Manager. The Director ensures that the HHCR mission is met and directs all operations of Hope House. This includes supervision of the entire staff, administering the budget, interaction with the local government, businesses and schools and maintaining operation of the home at a professional level. The Administrator is the Director’s right-hand person and ensures that administerial functions are carried out effectively and efficiently. The Office Manager is responsible for maintaining a professional front office, visitor control, answering the telephone plus other secretarial responsibilities as required. This person gives a good first-impression to the general public.
Psychologist: The government, for obvious reasons, requires each children's home to have support from a psychologist. Given the background of the children and their concern about their future, it is important to have qualified staff to deal with these issues. The psychologist is professionally trained and directs, supervises and evaluates the activities of the child care staff.
Maintenance: Given the size of the Hope House campus, the number of buildings and the number of people using the facilities everyday, maintenance is a large endeavor. The maintenance supervisor is not only responsible to ensure that everything is in perfect operating condition and repaired when something breaks down, but maintains a professional and clean appearance of the whole campus.
Laundry: This is an everyday chore. With upwards of 30 boys, with school clothes and regular clothes, plus staff, clothes are washed and dried six days a week. The laundry person essentially works six to seven hours each of these days. It is hot and tedious work, but work that must be done.
Kitchen: Three meals per day for seven days each week are required to keep the boys and staff fed. Fortunately we have been blessed with a large commercial grade kitchen, but preparation and cooking are still a major effort. We rely on a Kitchen Supervisor to plan menus, direct and supervise the kitchen team, which consists of two to three other chefs per day. Sometimes the only food available is outdated food from a local large store. This requires the cooks to be creative in preparing something nourishing and tasty. Also to be noted: all vegetables and fruit must be washed and sanitized in an iodine bath before it can be prepared.
Caretakers: These are the staff that take care of the boys when they are not in school. The school system in Mexico has morning classes and afternoon classes. So some boys are at the home in the morning with a different set in the afternoon. The caretakers ensure that the boys do their school work and are, generally, occupied and not in trouble. They also tutor each child, helping him achieve his academic performance level based on his age. This becomes a bigger challenge when there are school holidays. Then, on the weekends after all the staff have left, the boys still need to be taken care of. So Saturday and Sunday requires additional caretakers. The Sunday caretakers are also responsible for taking the boys to church.
Night Care: After all the regular staff have left for the day, the boys need to be taken care of overnight. This includes supervising bedtime preparations and then watching them and being available to them for the remainder of the night. This is a responsibility that sometimes is overlooked when thinking of an orphanage but it is of great importance.
We are also blessed to have several volunteers working daily and weekly alongside of us. These volunteers serve countless hours as drivers, tutors, mentors and teachers. They are also active in the community educating the public, building public awareness and raising funds. And finally, we’re also grateful for the many local volunteers who offer their professional services to enrich the lives of our boys. These include: doctors, contractors, auto mechanics and business owners.