Our Men’s and Women’s Transitional Housing programs are more than putting someone in a bed or offering a safe place to stay. It is a lot of intense case management, respect, and patience. Our staff walk with the residents every step of their journey while in our program and even well after they graduate. Many people think our TH programs are only for those who are suffering from substance abuse. We accept people from various residential programs such as inpatient substance abuse recovery, domestic violence shelters and, recently, human trafficking survivors.
Working with people who are survivors of human trafficking has been an incredible addition to our Women’s Transitional Housing program and made possible through a partnership with the Salvation Army’s Restoration Now program. Once a woman is approved for our TH program, we move them in and do what we do so well: offer holistic, caring, person-centered case management. These women have been through some of the worse trauma we have experienced, which is why how we work with them requires a different approach than other women in our TH program. To be prepared for this partnership, staff and I have had training and continue to take courses to earn certificates on this subject. Unfortunately, human trafficking happens everywhere and is a huge problem in our state and nationwide. I am happy to be a part of helping these survivors.
In addition to accepting human trafficking survivors, we recently built a new program for women coming out of incarceration who typically have not done any type of residential program and may need more case management than our stage one residents. This is called, “Entry Phase”. We also house domestic violence survivors from shelters. Sometimes, this means housing a parent as well as their children who have suffered significant trauma.
We find it is critical to think “outside the box” to help our residents. Our programming includes peer mentoring groups or 12 step programs, sometimes led by graduates of our program. We have a trauma group facilitated by Jewish Family Services. We have a cooking and nutrition class every week run by the University of Delaware. We have weekly Women’s and Men’s group meetings. We offer opportunities for residents to learn about various opportunities regarding certifications, career paths, and important life skills.
I chose this career path and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have lived experience with all the different issues we address here. It is emotionally, mentally and physically challenging; and it is beyond rewarding to know we make a difference in people’s lives.
Women’s Transitional Housing Director