October 07, 2016
BENEFITING: Saint Johns Program For Real Change
EVENT DATE: Oct 10, 2016
Saint John's Program for Real Change unleashes the potential of mothers in crisis to improve their quality of life and enrich the lives of their families—breaking the cycle of poverty and dependence one family at a time. We accommodate 550 women and children each year with approximately 650 service hours each month and three levels of increasingly independent housing designed to propel them to self-sustainability. When a family enters our 12-month comprehensive program, they are immediately encircled with structure, mental health therapy, domestic violence survivor support, alcohol/drug counseling, education, financial literacy classes, a Children’s Program, transportation services, AND extensive hands-on job training at one of three successful social enterprises. Thoughtfully designed to enable financial independence, 96% of Saint John's employment training graduates secure unsubsidized employment, in addition to improved health, improved coping skills, improved relationship and parenting skills, and improved budgeting skills. While mothers are actively rebuilding their lives, a dedicated team works with their children to counteract the devastating effects of their situations. Children experience the benefits of a structured daily routine and a safe and predictable environment. Mothers become positive role models and their children begin exemplifying that behavior, breaking the generational cycle of poverty and abuse.
Our program is built on a life-changing replicable model that reduces the number of families in our community who are experiencing poverty, homelessness and abuse by improving their social, emotional and physical health while also providing housing, transportation, childcare and employment training. We operate the largest shelter in the Sacramento region, and we are the ONLY one focused exclusively on serving women and children. Our comprehensive array of immersive 'dependence to independence' services for single-mother-led families, all under one programmatic roof, is unparalleled in the region, as well as the State, based on research completed by Sacramento's Center for Strategic Economic Research.
The majority of our women face multiple and complex barriers that seem so insurmountable they have lost all hope. 100% live below poverty, 77% are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, 75% have experienced domestic violence, 70% have little or no work experience, 60% have been incarcerated, 56% need mental health services, and 40% lack a high school diploma. 47% of their school-age children suffer from anxiety or depression and 36% manifest aggressive behavior. Moreover, housing is a major barrier since regional rents are extremely high, and the Sacramento apartment vacancy rate is one of the lowest in the U.S. at 4%.
At Saint John’s, families find the peace and the space to work towards personal development and financial stability in a safe, sober, smoke-free and structured environment. Under the direction of Dr. Susan Barron, Ph.D., licensed Therapists and Case Managers provide individualized services for each family. Case Managers have had specialized training on the principles and interventions related to trauma informed care including dynamics related to those who have experienced domestic violence. Special focus on applying interpersonal care and intervention supports each woman and her family. Our “Power to Change Program” is a supportive group workshop to guide women through the healing process and help them understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Women identify and address maladaptive behaviors that can undermine their feelings of self-worth and lack of power in a relationship. They learn to identify factors that are unproductive and underpin healthy relationships and reciprocal interactions. Women learn to address challenges and recognize symptoms presented by their children that have impacted them as part of the unhealthy family dynamic. New skills and tools are learned, practiced, discussed and supported within this unique program. In addition to individual and family therapy, the Power to Change workshop helps to greatly improve the family dynamic and structure. Healthy boundaries are set, communication is improved and self-esteem renewed.