Every individual comes to The City Mission facing a unique battle.
And success for every man and woman is uniquely defined. What remains constant for every person is the need for genuine care and relationships. Explore the phases of our programming for individuals through the lens of Help, Heart, and Home.
Before transformation can begin, an individual needs to understand they are safe and secure. Upon entering our doors, we begin an intake process that assesses the cause of crisis and a person's immediate needs. From that moment on we provide three hot, filling meals a day, dignity restoring clothing, and a safe, warm place to sleep. Clients are assigned a caseworker once they've gone through our intake process - before they've even gone through orientation or decided if they would like to commit to the long-term program.
The City Mission's campuses regularly host 110+ men at Crossroads Men's Crisis Center and 60+ women at Laura's Home Women's Crisis Center every night. When winter weather becomes life-threatening, we institute a no-turn-away policy. When men need a place of refuge from unbearable summer heat or toxic relationships, we open our day room. When women are fleeing domestic violence, we ensure they receive adequate attention and care in order to escape an abuser. While we do have a small number of spots for short terms stays (30 days or less), most guests choose to join our long-term program, which lasts a minimum of nine months.
Help is only phase one, and it's the open door we offer to all individuals who are hurting and homeless in Cleveland.
As a man or woman recovers from the circumstances that led him or her to The City Mission, each can turn their individual focus to renewal. While some who come to us experienced a single major event that led to their crisis, many of our guests have experienced years of trauma and poverty. Every individual in our program needs access to resources that will empower him or her to rebuild, which guests find in phase two of our programming, the Heart phase.
Individuals committed to our long-term program create specialized program plans. Our staff works closely with each man and woman to develop practical steps to reach goals, and individuals participate in group therapy sessions to combat histories of trauma and mental health. We also engage individuals spiritually through local church involvement, support groups, Bible classes and chapel services. Finally, men and women are equipped to attain competitive employment through the on-site vocational and computer literacy education.
Heart is at the core of the transformative process, -- the stage which prepares each person to be successful as they look toward a new future.
For single men and women, self-sufficiency is the key to long-term success. In the Heart process, many choose to let go of relationships and habits that held them back from a productive life. Now, the final stage in our program is focused on obtaining adequate income and housing in a place that allows them to build a healthy community - a Home. We use the word "adequate," because our desire is to see individuals provide for themselves in a way that allows them to become as free as possible from social safety nets. For some, this means furthering their education, and for others, it means finally applying for and gaining support through disability income.
From the moment someone comes to The City Mission, Home is our prayer for their life. When a person has their basic needs met, has been restored to wholeness in heart and mind, and empowered to be self-sustainable, they can move forward from the Mission prepared to not simply survive, but to truly thrive.