We believe that it takes more than just a roof over your head to overcome the cycle of homelessness. Getting off the streets is certainly the first step, but how does one learn the skills it takes to thrive in today’s society? We created our community based on four pillars of support, and just like the legs of a chair, if one pillar is missing, the chair will topple.
Strategy #1 – Dignified housing in a healthy supportive community
We wouldn’t put our community members in a home that we wouldn’t be proud to host our friends or family in. We’ve intentionally created a supportive ecosystem that encourages our young adults to interact with each other, our support team and members of the community at-large.
Our tiny homes are each equipped with trauma informed decor, including calming colors and an environment that encourages one to take a deep breath and relax. Aside from our standard decor, we also personalize our homes for each individual who is staying with us. There is nothing more fun than pulling two shopping carts across a Target while you fill them with teal sheets, towels and accessories because you know it is a new resident’s favorite color.
We will host community events to encourage connection between our young adults and neighbors to the community. Gardening days, Yoga and outdoor movie nights are just the start of activities that our Ambassador of Fun has in store this summer.
Strategy #2 – Trauma informed and responsive care
We go to great lengths to be sure that to relate to our residents that have experienced trauma so we know how to respond to their individual needs. The six guiding principles that we adhere to are:
- Trustworthiness & Transparency
- Peer Support
- Collaboration & Mutuality
- Empowerment & Choice
- Human Sensitivity
We believe that adopting a trauma-informed approach is not as simple as any one technique or completing a checklist. It requires attention, caring awareness and sensitivity.
Strategy #3 – Life Skills
After their two years with us is up, we want our young adults to be able to go out into the world with the confidence & skills that it takes to lead a successful life. Our life skills training equips each individual with the specific skills they need improvement in, based on their personal experiences.
Examples of life skills we have helped with include:
- Leaving an effective voice message
- Budgeting and financial management
- Cooking healthy meals with a focus on fresh fruits & vegetables
- Utilizing kitchen appliances
- How to advocate for yourself in a healthcare setting
- How to write a resume and interviewing techniques
Each time our resident encounters a brand new opportunity or obstacle, we are also given the opportunity to help them shine in that situation and come out with lessons learned, new skills and a whole lot of self efficacy.
Strategy #4 – Job Training and Placement in a Living Wage Position
We have partnered with many altruistic companies and organizations in our community. These folks have agreed to help train our community members and/or give them an opportunity for a job & maybe even a fulfilling career in their industry.
From on-the-job training in carpentry & construction to positions within the trade and service industries, we provide our young adults with a foot in the door for the career path of their choice.
These four strategies, integrated and with our mission in focus, we are “We Fortify”.