When an individual or family comes to The Good Shepherd Alliance seeking shelter in either our Women and Children’s shelter or Family shelter, they are required to enter our Six Steps to Self-Sufficiency Program. We believe it is essential to provide them opportunity for a long-term solution; not just shelter for a time.
Step One: Emergency Services
The first step in helping ease the burdens of the homeless is not a handout, but a team approach to helping them face their most difficult burdens. By showing love and concern while introducing individuals and families to resources that can help them move forward, we give them the hope to work toward self-sufficiency.
Part of the first step includes directing our guests to appropriate counseling, substance abuse treatment, medical care or financial services.
Step Two: Personal Development and Education
GSA case managers work with individuals to attain the life skills helpful to their success going forward. We help them secure transportation and child care, if needed. Stress management is also part of Step Two so they will have the confidence to move on to Step Three. Guests meet weekly with their case manager andset goals for themselves. They work through their own steps to self-sufficiency. Once the guest has the appropriate foundation, individuals are ready for Step Three.
Step Three: Job Training and Placement
In Step Three, individuals prepare for and seek employment. This may include seeking training and education. Job attainment and retention is more successful when a good foundation is in place. Many individuals are already working when they come to GSA and they may seek training, or continue to work at their current position.
Step Four: Housing Assistance
GSA case managers work weekly with guests to encourage job retention and aid in a search for housing. During this time, guests save a portion of their income to an escrow account so they will have something to take with them when they move on from the program.
Step Five and Six: Securing Housing and Self-Sufficiency
In Step Five individuals secure housing and develop their financial plan as they move onto Step Six – Self-Sufficiency.