People can become homeless for a variety of reasons. Some are homeless as a result of a fire or natural disaster, job loss, financial ruin from an unexpected or prolonged illness in the family, acts of violence, aging out of the foster care system, abandonment, etc. The individual may have experienced substance abuse, imprisonment, or lived in an abusive relationship. Another factor can be mental health issues which are undiagnosed, untreated or the individual lacks the resources to continue treatment. Often it may be the culmination of years of moving from one crisis to another in a downward spiral unable to stop the momentum.
What Help is Available
At The City Mission, we serve those who have a place to live but are very vulnerable or those who have no other place to go.
- Pathways Family Outreach Services works with children and their families living primarily in downtown Cleveland. It is designed to give them the tools they need so they can build a solid foundation of lifeskills, education and spiritual strength and be self-sufficient. The program also allows staff and volunteers to engage with families before their situation becomes so severe that they need to go to a shelter.
- Crossroads Men's Crisis Center and Laura's Home Women's Crisis Center provide 30-day emergency shelter and an opportunity enter our 6-month long-term program to deal with the issues that have led to homelessness.
- Our Inmate Outreach Services chaplains serve inmates and their families locally and around the state. Some of them will one day be released and need to prepare to reenter society. They may only need our short-term program at Crossroads or Laura's Home. Others can benefit from the long-term program including those who have no support system, want to turn their lives around, or need to completely rebuild their lives in a world that may be very different from what they knew when they first entered the corrections system.
What Does Success Look Like
Many of our clients connect with the Mission in a state of extreme vulnerability. Although the long-term goal is to help them become self-sufficient, the nature of the issues they may face may require years making incremental improvement in multiple areas. The intermediate goals include securing housing, sustaining employment or income, establishing childcare, and maintaining healthy relationships.
Viewed as a continuum, our goal in the long-term program at Crossroads and Laura's Home is to help clients stabilize their situation in several key life areas and cross the prevention line of vulnerability. For those issues that require more time to overcome, our case managers work closely the clients and other agencies and programs so they can develop and implement a long-term plan that transforms their life and for those who have children, the lives of their family.
At Pathways Family Outreach Center, we may be involved with a family from the time their oldest child enters first grade until the youngest completes high school and enters our College Club. Our programs can also be a bridge to making the dream of higher education possible since senior high students can earn up to $10,000 in college scholarships, This longer period of engagement increases the possibilty of clients making significant improvement in their lives and can lead to the breaking of the cycle of multi-generational poverty.
Issues involved in Homelessness and Living in Crisis
Details provided on our upcoming "Where's Papa?" Symposium on April 18, 2012
Lay Counseling Training Workshops
Remaining 2-day workshops are scheduled in February and March 2012
More to come...