When applying for a job, there’s nothing more discouraging than the moment you see a sign reading “Applications Closed”. Many of us have been there, done that…and we remember that sinking feeling of disappointment.

Now imagine how an addict feels when they head to the 10,000 Beds website to complete an application for a scholarship and see that applications are temporarily closed. Their feeling of disappointment is combined with a loss of hope and a fear for their life.

We hate closing down applications.

Sometimes our reality sucks. 10,000 Beds can only award as many scholarships as we have donated and available. We HATE closing applications, but we HATE it even more if we don’t hold applications and applicants end up waiting for months and months as we catch up. But that’s our reality…we sometimes need to close down applications.

So we close applications temporarily when we feel as if we can’t keep up with our pending scholarship applications. We’ve already had to do this four times in 2021. Today we have 58 active (these active applicants have checked in with us every Monday since they originally applied, and they are the first to be considered for available scholarships).

Be honest with your clients, customers, colleagues & partners.

I hesitated to close down applications the first time this happened. In a conversation with one of our 10,000 Beds Board Members, I was reminded that we can only do what we can do, and we shouldn’t promise more. If we don’t have the beds, if we don’t have the funding, if we don’t have the manpower, if we don’t have some thing we need to complete the scholarship placement in a timely manner and fulfill our pledge to our scholarship applicants, we need to tell them. And we need to close down applications so no new applications are received until we are back on track. And that has been our policy ever since.

Under promise. Over deliver.

So yes, our applications are closed again. And we are catching up on the pending applications on file as of today. And we are open and honest about it. This allows us to be more focused, more effective and more transparent. In the meantime, all potential scholarship recipients should continue looking for help and not assume that 10,000 Beds will be able to get them a scholarship – those with pending applications and those stopped by our “Applications Closed” announcement.

Respected leaders are transparent with their team and their clients.

Leadership requires this kind of honesty and good leaders understand that. Some will be disappointed, some will lose hope, but in the end, it’s much better than feeling betrayed because someone wasn’t honest with them.

As Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote reminds us, “Honesty is the best policy.”