Many residents come to us after a brief stay in a crisis shelter (only 30-45 days). This short time is rarely sufficient to find housing, employment, and other supports necessary for living empowered, successful lives, free from abuse. The transitional housing program at The Dwelling Place fulfills the need for more healing time and personal development. Without this, many victims return to their abusers or move between crisis and homeless shelters. Residents may stay for 12 months. When necessary, a six-month extension may also be requested.
Our goals include:
- To provide intensive case management and transitional housing to women and their children who are suffering from all forms of abuse who desire a safe place to reside while they make decisions about their future.
- To provide women the opportunity to develop the necessary skills that will enable them to use their gifts and talents to financially support themselves and their children and live free from abuse.
- To provide opportunities and tools for spiritual discipleship and emotional growth that will lead women to make healthy choices for themselves and their children.
- To provide age appropriate programming for the children residing in our homes.
Upon admission to the program, new residents meet with staff to create an individualized goal plan, which includes identifying strengths and opportunities for growth in personal, professional, and spiritual development, and parenting skills. Progress toward these goals is monitored, documented and celebrated.
The structure of the program has two main components. Residents are required to participate in five hours of programming each week, and twenty hours of community involvement. The five hours of weekly programming consist of:
- Case Management to determine strengths, needs, and necessary services for success
- House Meetings to practice communication skills, problem solving and peaceful living
- Domestic Violence Support and Education Group to receive support and learn about the dynamics of abuse
- Bible Study and prayer times to grow spiritually
- Classes on various topics: budgeting and managing finances, self-esteem, communication skills, cooking, etc.
The twenty hours of community involvement can include any combination of:
Photos of our safe homes:
Our Domestic Violence Support and Education Group meets weekly throughout the year. The content covers the full gamut of domestic violence information and dynamics, and encourages the women to tell their stories, giving examples of how the information applies to past relationships. New skills are modeled to demonstrate how to step out of the victim role. The group allows time and support for healing and teaches the important qualities of healthy relationships.
Individual and Family Therapy
The psychological issues women and children face as a result of living in the cycle of domestic violence requires compassionate care to begin the healing process. The Dwelling Place refers residents and their children to counseling services in the community that specialize in the areas of trauma and domestic abuse.
Life Skills Education
Many women at The Dwelling Place have lived within the abuse cycle most of their lives. They may have never learned important skills for independent living. We teach life skills to help the women with practical needs: acquiring healthy and affordable groceries, cooking nutritious meals on a limited budget, housekeeping and home maintenance, accessing transportation, vegetable gardening, locating affordable resources for clothing, housing and furnishings, etc.
Financial Education and Counseling
Classes are offered to educate residents on debt reduction, asset building, budgeting, how to build a good credit score and rent history, consumer protection and financial institutions, acquiring insurance, saving for future needs, etc. We use the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University curriculum. Our Gift of the Month program, and Savings Incentive program help women set aside money with matching funds to apply to their eventual move to independence.
Employment Counseling and Training
Finding a job with a livable wage is vital to breaking the cycle of abuse for many women, yet this is not an easy thing to do. The Dwelling Place has local collaborative partners that provide our residents with individual assessments, consultations with employment specialists, math tutoring, coaching, job readiness training, resume services, and mock interviews. Our Education Fund provides scholarships for women seeking advanced degrees, professional licenses, or skills training not covered by educational institutions or jobs training programs.
We envision eliminating the generational cycle of abuse through education and by showing children they are loved and have value. Children living with their mothers at The Dwelling Place are also provided individualized and small group programming. The goal of the Children's Program is to promote healing from trauma and opportunities for growth in social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Programming includes: Children's support groups for emotional healing, after school tutoring, bible studies, and age appropriate activities for toddlers through teens. This program also includes assisting parents to promote and model healthy relationships and improve parenting skills with their children.
Bible Studies and Prayer Ministry
At the heart of the The Dwelling Place is our commitment to nurture the wounded spirits of the women and children we serve. Advocates and volunteers provide empowering studies of Scripture that help our residents come to know a God who loves them. The studies help our residents find healing, hope and freedom through God’s Word and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Community Outreach Education
Presentations and training given at:
- Local Businesses
- Women’s Ministry Groups
- Colleges and teen groups
- Community service organizations
- Civic organizations