AGREEMENT WITH MISHPOCHA
Welcome to Mishpocha. We want you to know what we are offering you, what we are not offering you, and what we expect in return.
Mishpocha is a transition home for individuals who want to get back to normal living, a decent place to live for a while. We set up Mishpocha for people who are working at reestablishing themselves, and who want to get back to living successfully on their own. It would be abnormal for a resident to stay with us for more than one year.
Mishpocha provides a place to live, basic utilities, a stove and refrigerator, a single bedroom for each resident, and a few furnishings. The condominium keeps the grass cut and the snow shovelled. You look after the rest, including buying your own food and clothing.
Mishpocha will also be able to help some of its residents beyond just providing a place to live. Some may want counselling or assistance in finding work. Others may need tutorial help with school work. Mishpocha will try to assist based on individual needs. It is our intention to sit down with you and develop a 'contract' tailored to your situation - an agreement that sets out what you will be working at during your stay with us, how long that stay might be, and what sort of assistance we can provide.
There is a minimum of supervision and only a few rules in addition to those you would have if you rented your own place. These house rules are spelled out below - as well as some conditions that the landlord has imposed on us. Each house also has a few rules of it's own, and the live-in can tell you what they are.
o No alcohol or drugs (we have this rule because some of our residents may be recovered alcohol or drug abusers).
o No sleepovers by guests.
o Keep the noise down during sleeping hours (this would normally be 10:00 at night to 6:00 in the morning, but other times can be set by mutual agreement by the residents).
o You do your own laundry, cooking, and keep your own room clean; you help in the housework needed in the common areas such as the bathroom, living room, and kitchen.
o The bedrooms are private areas; entry is permitted only when the person who lives in the bedroom is there and specifically invites you in.
o The rent of $ is due the first of each month, and we need a month's notice of leaving.
o Pets are not allowed
o The yard must not be used for storage
Note: The lease has other conditions of less immediate concern to you; a copy is available in the house for your information any time that you wish to see it.
If there are any questions regarding your stay at Mishpocha, any assistance we can give you, or the rules and conditions, please discuss them with the House Supervisor.
If the above correctly represents the agreement between you and Mishpocha kindly indicate this by signing below.
for Mishpocha __________________________________ date _________________________________________
MISHPOCHA INTAKE PROCESS
The intake process steps are:
1. A referral is made to the registrar by an agency, either directly or indirectly.
2. The registrar assigns the referred individual to a support group.
3. An interview is conducted by support person, live-in and the residents of the house.
4. A decision on whether or not to accept the candidate is made by support group and live-in.
5. The candidate, registrar, and referring agency are notified if the candidate is accepted; if the candidate is not accepted the registrar is notified, who may then make a referral to another house, and then the candidate is notified.
6. The required forms are signed.
7. The return of the MISHPOCHA form signed by welfare is required for those candidates on welfare before admission to the house.
8. Admission to house.
9. The client is given a key(s) and signs the key form.
10. The support people develop a three month contract with the client.
The interview will be within two days of the initial contact. Typically the registrar will contact a support person for the house who will arrange the interview. The interview would normally:
. take place at the house; and
. be completed within an hour.
In some situations it will not be possible for the support person, the live-in and all the residents to be available within the two days. In such a case it may be necessary to have the interview with the only those person who are available.
The support group and live-in make the decision to accept or reject the candidate, taking into account the feelings of the existing residents. The applicant will be advised by the support person within one day of the decision, and in the case of a negative decision, the reasons for the decision.
The accepted client completes the AGREEMENT WITH MISHPOCHA. If the client is on welfare, the MISHPOCHA form is completed in duplicate, and one copy is given to the client to take to his/her welfare office to be completed and then it is to be returned to the support person and/or live-in.
A resident is admitted after:
. paying the balance of rent for the month, or returning an acceptance form signed by welfare, which ensures that rent is paid directly to Mishpocha and a last month's rent letter will be forwarded (note: return of the signed form is necessary because in the past when we didn't do this and we gave the client a signed AGREEMENT WITH MISHPOCHA form there were rent scams where Mishpocha was out the rent money);
. receiving a key (or keys, if required) to the front door of the house; and
. making a simple written contract with a support person, for example:
For the next three months I will be looking for work or working
The support group keeps one copy of the forms (AGREEMENT WITH MISHPOCHA and the completed MISHPOCHA), gives one copy of each to the resident, and advises the treasurer and registrar. Keys are signed out through the live-in.
The support group works with the sponsor, live-in, and residents to insure the house is functionally and financially responsible.
MISHPOCHA EVICTION POLICY
A. Most situations will be handled as:
1. Minor problems will initially be addressed by live-in (e.g. not washing own dishes, not cleaning own room, making excessive noise during sleep periods, doing nothing -- that is, making little or no attempt to find a job or go to school, etc.).
2. If the minor problem continues it will be addressed by one support person at a meeting with the client. The live-in may be present, if appropriate.
The meeting will:
- be held within two days of the offense (if required)
- clearly identify the problem to the client, and
- clearly set out to the client our expectations and the consequences of continuing the behaviour.
3. If the behaviour noted in 1. and/or 2. continues, a formal meeting will be held by two support persons (if possible) with the client:
- within two days (if required)
- to identify inadequate response to problem
- to again clearly define our expectations, and
- give a verbal warning.
4. If problem behaviour continues, then within two days the client will be given written notice (this need not be handed to him/her in person, but may be left with the live-in or at the premises in an obvious location or mailed):
- to leave within 48 hours or within 14 days, depending upon the severity of the situation, and to remove all belongings<*>
- that identifies the problem behaviour and our expectations, and
- that, in the case of 14 day notice, indicates that Mishpocha will reconsider if given adequate cause.
5. When a client leaves under notice, the live-in or support person will be present if possible. He/she collects the client's key(s), inspects the clients room and the house, and notifies the registrar. The registrar notifies the referring person or agency of the reasons for the action taken, and notifies the treasurer. The treasurer returns the balance of rent (if any) to welfare<**>.
6. The support people and/or live-in debrief the other clients on what has happened and why.
B. In cases of a more serious nature:
7. For serious problems (such as breach of Mishpocha rules for the house, abusive or sullen attitude toward the live-in or other clients, food theft, disregard of property, public nuisance) for which drastic action is inappropriate, a meeting will be held by one support person and the live-in (if possible) with the client:
- as soon as possible, but within two days
- to clearly identify the problem and our expectations, and
- to give a formal verbal warning.
8. If the problem in 7. recurs or if drastic action is initially warranted the support people will:
- notify the client to leave within 48 hours and to remove all belongings<*>, and
- clearly identify the reasons for notice being given.
This notice will normally be given verbally, preferably in person, or by phone. It may be given in writing in addition to verbally, or in cases where giving verbal notice proves to be impossible.
9. The support person or live-in is present when the client leaves, collects the client's key(s), inspects the client's room and the house, and notifies the registrar. The registrar notifies the referring person or agency of the reasons for the action taken, and notifies the treasurer. The treasurer returns the balance of rent (if any) to welfare<**>.
10. The support people and/or live-in debrief the other clients on what has happened and why.
C. Crisis situations:
11. In the most serious of situations (eg. violence within the house, property theft, threats, serious abusive behavior, property damage) one support person and the live-in (if possible) will meet with the client as soon as possible. The support person will give the client notice to leave immediately, to remove all belongings<*>, and the reasons for notice. An immediate cash refund of balance of rent can be made to the client if he/she agrees to leave immediately, returns the house key(s), and signs a receipt of the following form. This receipt may be hand written providing the writing is easily legible.
Received _ (date) _ from MISHPOCHA the sum of $_(amount)_ which is the balance of rent paid for shared accommodation at _ (address) _ for the period of _ (starting date) _ to _ (ending date) _.
signed _ (client) _
_ (witness) _
(Note: The wisest course is to return the balance of rent and obtain the receipt outside the house, once the client has removed himself/herself and belongings.) The support person and or the live-in is present when the client leaves, collects the client's key(s), inspects the client's room and the house, and notifies the registrar. The registrar notifies the referring person or agency of the reasons for the action taken, and notifies the treasurer. If possible and appropriate the support person or the live-in may take the client to emergency housing.
12. If the client does not agree to leave immediately under the conditions outlined above, the support person will give the client written notice to leave within 48 hours, to remove all belongings<*>, and the reasons for notice being given. The client should be informed that any balance of rent will be returned to welfare<**>. (Note: legally Mishpocha can't evict resident without 48 hours notice.) The support person and/or live-in are present when the client leaves, collect the client's key(s), inspect the client's room and the house, and notify the registrar. The registrar notifies the referring person or agency of the reasons for the action taken, and notifies the treasurer. The treasurer returns the balance of rent (if any) to welfare<**>.
13. The support people and/or live-in debrief the other clients on what has happened and why.
* Mishpocha is not responsible for items left at the house.
** If the client's rent is being paid by an agency other than welfare, the balance of rent will be returned to it. If the client pays his/her own rent, the balance is returned to him/her in cash at the time of leaving provided a receipt is obtained and funds are available, or by cheque.
As a general principle, whenever a client is evicted and the remaining clients are debriefed, Mishpocha's actions must not only be just, but must be seen to be just.
This document sets out in detail what Mishpocha expects of the live-in at each of its homes, and what the live-in can expect from Mishpocha.
A. What Mishpocha Offers:
. The live-in will have continuing, low cost accommodation in a house (typically a four bedroom townhouse);
. Mishpocha will treat the house as the live-in's home;
. The live-in can choose which of the bedrooms will be his/hers;
. Mishpocha will provide certain basic furnishings for the home:
- client bedrooms: bed, dresser, curtains, light
- living room: chesterfield, chair, curtains, light
- kitchen: fridge, stove, basic utensils, dishes, table, chairs
. Mishpocha will endeavor to provide other furnishings (eg. washer, dryer, vacuum, tv, stereo, bedding, etc.), when these are available (usually through donation) on an equitable basis to all the Mishpocha homes;
. Mishpocha will provide replacements for broken items when these are available (usually by donation), and/or will repair items with volunteer labour when this is available;
. If the house is rented, Mishpocha will ensure that the rent is paid in full to the landlord each month -- the cost of utilities (heat, electricity, water) is included;
. Mishpocha will consult the live-in before making any decision to accept a client for the home;
. Mishpocha accepts that, on mutual agreement, the live-in may have rules for his/her house in addition to Mishpocha's;
. Mishpocha will provide $200 to the support group for non-consumable items when a new house is being set-up;
. Mishpocha will change exterior door locks as required (with the necessary new keys provided to the live-in and the resident clients);
. Mishpocha will make training sessions available to live-ins and support people;
. Mishpocha will provide insurance for on-premises liability; and
. Mishpocha will make reasonable attempts to resolve problems with the live-in by discussion; however, if no resolution is possible Mishpocha will give two months written notice to allow the live-in to find new accommodation and Mishpocha to find a new live-in.
B. What Mishpocha Expects:
. By being a live-in at a Mishpocha home, the live-in signifies acceptance of the Mishpocha rules;
. The live-in will work and communicate with the support group for the house and/or Mishpocha, as appropriate;
. The live-in will involve the support group with group and individual needs of the clients;
. Normally, the live-in will be at the house sometime during each day (eg. sleeping), 7pm-10pm three nights a week; and during part of the day (7am-7pm) on week-ends;
. The live-in will be available for intake interviews within two days of application, normally during evening hours;
. The responsibilities of the live-in include acting as a role model for the clients, supervising conduct at the house; and counselling clients, as required;
. The live-in understands that significant problems are to be handled by the support group for the house (or Mishpocha in exceptional circumstances);
. The live-in will provide his/her own bedroom furnishings;
. The live-in will regulate keys for the house, keeping key receipt forms and ensuring that departing clients turn in their key(s);
. The live-in will work with clients to keep the interior of house clean, neat and presentable at all times;
. The live-in agrees not to have any personal financial dealings with clients;
. The live-in agrees not to initiate religious discussion or involvement with any client in the home, and to become involved only when such are initiated by the client;
. The live-in agrees not to make any physical changes to the house (eg. door hardware) without first obtaining the approval of Mishpocha, and the landlord (when appropriate);
. The live-in will pay rent of $xxx on the first of each month directly to the Treasurer of Mishpocha; and
. The live-in will make reasonable efforts to resolve problems with Mishpocha by discussion; however, if no resolution is possible the live-in will give two months written notice to allow Mishpocha to find a new live-in and the live-in to find a new accommodation.
C. Areas Excluded From This Agreement:
. Provision of telephone service or responsibility for telephone costs except as provided by the electronic "black box" which intercepts chargeable phone calls;
. Insurance or responsibility for damage or loss of personal property of the live-in;
. Consumable goods (eg. soap, toilet paper, light bulbs).
MISHPOCHA ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
A. The Mishpocha Organizing Committee (MOC) is:
. An umbrella group whose role is to keep the Mishpocha concept vital and capable of performing its intended service function;
. A group that takes the wider view than just what is happening at a single house in order to discern what is happening to the organization as a whole; and
. The group composed of the Board of Directors and other persons performing ancillary central supporting functions (eg. maintaining the registry).
B. The MOC provides:
. The definition, structure and operational policies for all Mishpocha homes -- basically a "franchise" style of operation;
. Assistance to sponsors and support groups in setting up a Mishpocha home, including helping to locate a suitable live-in, providing information on past experience and help in acquiring necessary furnishings;
. A central point of contact to which individuals, groups and agencies can make referral of potential clients;
. A registry of information on clients and potential clients;
. A central financial operation for making rent payments to landlords on time and paying for other common expenses;
. An established corporate identity under which rental agreements can be made with landlords;
. Backup support to sponsors and support groups when advice and other assistance is needed at a particular house;
. Training sessions, when required, for live-ins and support people;
. A wealth of contacts with agencies, organizations and institutions in the greater Ottawa region;
. On-premises liability insurance; and
. Liability limited by incorporation.
C. The relation of MOC to individual houses:
. The MOC will refrain from intimate involvement with individual houses except when assistance is requested by a sponsor and/or support group.
. Rather, the MOC function is, except in times of significant upset, to give background support to those running the houses.
MISHPOCHA SPONSOR GROUP
A. The sponsoring group is:
. A corporation, church, service club, or other organization or group that wants to see a Mishpocha home established and is willing to stand behind that desire with financial resources.
B. The sponsoring group:
. Provides the funds needed to start a new house; these funds are necessary to cover:
- first and last month's rent,
- on-premises liability insurance,
- furnishings (for the list of minimum furniture supplied see the Mishpocha/Live-in Agreement),
- a "black box" for the phone, which permits local calls only,
- $200 to support group for incidental expenses incurred in setting up the house, and
- an initial rent buffer to cover a period until there are enough residents to fill the house; (typically the amount needed to startup a new house will be about $2100 when most of the furnishings are donated -- the $2100 includes $100 for the electronic "black box" which intercepts chargeable phone calls);
. Determines where the house will be located, arranges to rent a suitable house, and signs the rental agreement;
. Finds and appoints a suitable live-in person and also finds and appoints a support group (two/three persons) for the house; the Mishpocha Organizing Committee will assist the sponsor if so required;
. Remains in communication with the support group as to the operation of the house, and in particular:
- repairs needed to the house, and
- repair and/or replacement of furnishings and other contents of the house;
. Provides additional funds when and if required, and in particular where income from residents is inadequate to cover expenses; and
. Takes ultimate responsibility for the operation of that particular Mishpocha home.
MISHPOCHA SUPPORT PEOPLE
A. Support people are:
. A group of interested volunteers who want to work with the live-in to run a Mishpocha home;
. People who take an interest in each of the residents, who are willing to give advice when a resident is troubled by something, and who have a friendly chat or a stern talk with a resident client when he/she is not meeting the expectations of Mishpocha;
. People who provide any discipline required, and
. People who are responsible to the sponsors for the operation of the house.
B. What do support people do?
. Visit the house on a regular schedule (i.e. once per week, perhaps at the time of the weekly house meeting);
. Attend intake interviews, and help the live-in and the clients decide whether on not to accept the candidate; the support person is there to represent Mishpocha, and will sign the intake form;
. Keep a copy of all completed intake forms (for clients on welfare these will be returned with sections completed by the welfare office before the candidate is accepted into the home);
. Inform the Registrar when a new client has been accepted as a resident of the house;
. Develop a simple contract with each new client as to what they expect to be doing in the next three months, and renew this at three month intervals;
. Attend training sessions arranged by Mishpocha, as required;
. Take an interest in what each of the clients is doing; however, avoid religious discussions or involvement with a client unless these are initiated by the clients;
. Offer advice on problems when this is asked for, or when this can be done without being pushy (remember you can call on the sponsors and the Mishpocha Organizing Committee if you need help for things such as employment leads);
. Discuss clients' progress with them and with the live-in, particularly as relates to the three month contract, as a way of supporting each client;
. Be "on call" and when problems arise at the house, go there and deal with them, using massive doses of common sense in applying the Mishpocha rules and policies;
. When a client has broken or "bent" rules, issue the appropriate warning or other disciplinary action (see eviction policy) and clearly indicate to the client what actions are necessary on his/her part; and
. Inform the sponsors and the Registrar if there has been a serious incident, or if a client has been evicted or been given notice to leave and what the reasons are for it.
Mr. xxx xxxxxxxx
Dear Mr. xxxxxxxx:
I am writing this letter to follow up on discussions which other officers of Mishpocha have had with you recently.
I want to confirm our expectation that each of Mishpocha's residents will make every effort to live in harmony with the other residents in the house. You will recall that at the time that we invited you into a Mishpocha home you signed an agreement that stated in part "you ... keep your own room clean; you help in the housework needed in the common areas ....". You have not been doing this, even after requests on several occasions by the house supervisor and by other Mishpocha officers.
Further difficulties have arisen because you have been taking food that other residents have purchased without their permission. You have continued to do this even after we pointed out to you that such behaviour is not acceptable. We cannot permit this to continue.
Therefore, with regret, we must ask you to make other living arrangements and to leave xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. This letter constitutes notice that you must vacate xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx no later than November 30, 1987.
If you can show us within the next two weeks (i.e. before November 15) that you have taken positive steps to reestablish yourself as a harmonious resident, doing your share of the common work and respecting others property, we will then consider cancelling this notice.