In the early 1990's, Beverly Liberman and her husband realized the significance of helping individuals one at a time. An encounter with a homeless man who was determined to become self-sufficient led the couple to assist the needy stranger to find a place to live and a steady job. The lessons learned from this chance encounter led to the birth of the One at a Time Foundation (OATF) and Beverly Liberman's commitment to finding solutions to poverty while helping others.
Beverly's own mentoring experience spawned the OATF, which serves more than 60 homeless and formerly homeless individuals. OATF provides clients who have the desire to become self-reliant with skilled and compassionate support. These clients, aged 19 years or older, have found themselves out of the housing and employment system for various reasons—homelessness, domestic violence, incarceration or substance abuse. The common thread that connects OATF clients is the desire to succeed, despite a lack of resources (money, skill, and support) to be financially independent and self-reliant.
A typical day of service for Beverly includes going to business and community agencies, recruiting mentors and clients, finding community advocates and maintaining the mentor network. She is responsible for making sure that the mentors receive the support necessary to help clients effectively and garners community support to fund the project's minimal expenses. Running the program as its only full-time, non-salaried employee, much of the OATF's success can be credited to Beverly's efforts. The fact that some OATF clients, after getting back on their feet, are now returning to the program as mentors, speaks volumes about the worth of Beverly's service. She meets a community need and in the process, mobilizes other community volunteers to do the same.