WALKING WOMEN WELFARE
WALKING WOMEN WELFARE TRANSITION HOUSING
WALKING WOMEN WELFARE TRANSITION HOUSING
Walking Women’s Welfare (WWW) is a community action proposal to implement and develop evidence-based interventions (EBI’s) for gender-specific female homeless shelter affording clients safe, structured, housing and services to transition them into permanent affordable housing. The facility will serve Charleston, North Charleston, Berkley, and Dorchester counties. This process will include implementing strategies to adopt and integrate new interventions developed to refine the community capacity that supports a collaborative process in implementing change and sustainability.
Structure of funding, resources and the systems for the implemented EBI’s add cognitive awareness, and solutions that alter practice patterns within a specified setting. Three essential components of implementing an action proposal include the adaptation, dissemination, and monitoring of an organization, center, or program to modify, spread, and measure EBI’s tailored through the delivery of systems for specific needs of the intended population. The structure, players, and their roles are pivotal to carrying out the delivery of services through funding, resources, and systems like cooperative agreements that provide substantial grant funding which may involve direct active communications that may include periodic monitoring.
This presentation will discuss a proposed homeless women’s program by defining the population, current issues, needed services, a rational, and budget with the purpose of community awareness and intervention from a Christian Worldview for Bounce Back Ministries which currently only caters to homeless men; but can serve as a model platform for this female homeless services initiative.
Community Action Proposal
The Walking Women’s Welfare Model (WWW)
Bounce Back Ministries (BBM) is a non- profit, faith-based program for homeless men established in 2007, and is in North Charleston, South Carolina. Their mission is to aid homeless men with previous incarcerations, physical and mental disabilities, educational challenges, veterans, and recovering addicts. BBM has evolved into a re-entry campus that incorporates services that focus on the resident’s re-entry into mainstream society. The residential home available for male transition clients is located at 5611 Craig Road, North Charleston, South Carolina, 29406, and is commissioned as a state-of-the-art affordable housing community. This campus is the central site for BBM partnered with a private property management group that can house up to twenty clients (Retrieved from https://bouncebackincorporated.com).
BBM is an outreach program that provides recovery support, spiritual motivation, psychoeducation about the hierarchy of needs, and life skills necessary to secure employment, financial management, permanent housing, and wellness. BBM has an 85% success rate with participants' efficacy in areas of re-entering into the workforce, placement in long term substance abuse treatment, and living independently after successfully transitioning from BBM. BBM does not receive any state or federal funding and significantly relies on community participation for funding. Community supports include, prayer, mentorship, volunteers, and fiduciary partnerships with the distribution of services as well as monetary donations from the residential community is BBM’s solution to meeting the high demand for a developmental safe recluse for homeless men (Retrieved from https://bouncebackincorporated.com/).
BBM emphasizes hope, spirituality, and independence, freedom from active addiction, wellness, employment, motivational building, personal responsibility, social engagement, and financial management to change the resident’s lives in a positive direction. The male residents have a variety of presenting issues which include, but are not limited to, homelessness, SUD’s, mental and physical disabilities, depression, social deficits, employment deficits, financial mismanagement, and financial disparity.
There is a tremendous need base for homeless women as the CEO is constantly receiving calls from women that need housing and evidence-based solutions to transition to better living (Deas-Potts, 2019). Until now there have not been any proposals to meet the needs specific to homeless women that rely on unsafe local Charleston homeless shelters without any EBI’s substantiated for solutions to address their presenting issues other than provisions for shelter (Retrieved from https://bouncebackincorporated.com/).
The WWW movement has been established so that homeless women from various demographics with afflictions like substance misuse, mental illness, and job displacement in need of shelter would know that there was a place specifically for them to find safety and develop new life skills to promote efficacy through transitional housing (City- data, 2019). North Charleston was the chosen community because research found no gender-specific resources provided to meet the wellness and shelter needs of homeless women in North Charleston. This location was also chosen due to the unmet needs of females that are homeless in need of special accommodating safety provisions that include, but are not limited to, zero tolerance for solicitation of any kind, and harassments in regard to the safety from sexual, physical, and mentally abusive practices that can occur in co-ed shelters. Also, the North Charleston location is in a residential neighborhood surrounded by waterways that provide a serene environment, employment opportunities, and external resources like vocational rehab, and the VA hospital that are conducive to a positive change.
Mission Statement, Purpose, and Vision
WWW is empowered to push forward with a collaborative membership of lay, civic, religious, business partners who support its development mission statement to empower women that feel defeated in their efforts believing that where they are now affords them no hope. This emotional state renders them victims to physical abuse, sex trafficking and escaping their reality with the use of mind and mood altering substances. WWW’s vision is to assist homeless women by providing a space of wellness and safety for them to concentrate on their purpose of becoming better versions of themselves. The vision includes the successful advocacy of therapeutic communities to provide gender-responsive treatments for community empowerment through effective community awareness and leadership. The WWW platform seeks to include practitioners, policymakers, advocates, volunteers, and new treatment regimens that are gender-specific to homeless women that will successfully open the corridor to efficacy and permanent residency (Scott, & Wolfe, 2015).
Needs Analysis and Assessment
The target population is homeless women with SUD’s, undiagnosed mental illness, financial disparity, educational deficits, veterans, and women released from the penal system (Beijer, Birath, Demartinis & Klinteberg, 2015). Women with a history of parental SUD’s, victims of trauma like sexual violence, that observed domestic violence in childhood were more likely to commit crimes, misuse substances, and experience homelessness at some point in their lives. Forty-six percent of women with a history of abuse met the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which accounts for these populations' specific vulnerabilities that impact their mental health, functionality, and spirit. Treatment strategies must include assessing the impact of these PTSD experiences and addressing the impact of how they relate to their presenting issues (Beijer et al., 2015).
Homeless women are more likely to experience male violence, forced by men to commit crimes, and are at a higher risk of being sexually assaulted which indicates that this population must receive special care needs. The high- risk environment of homeless substance misusers’ subjects’ women to various kinds of male violence, which attributes to specific vulnerabilities like anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and suicide ideations that significantly threaten mental and physical stability (Beijer et al., 2015). Also, women forced to get involved in criminal activity have a higher risk of facing legal ramifications (Cosden, Larsen, Donahue & Nylund-Gibson, 2015). Therapeutic interventions need to implore treatments conducive to their high exposure to male violence that affects homeless women psychologically, socially, and physically which is a significant community concern (Cosden, et al. 2015).
Gender-specific treatments must be clearly articulated and are often comprised of gender matching counselors, gender-specific treatment groups, and mixed-gender treatment groups with male and female co-leaders (Corey, Corey, & Haynes, 2014). Gender-specific treatments will benefit homeless women with an increased referral of women that specialize in recognizing the unique characteristics of comorbidity, SUD’s, and presenting issues that influence their functioning in more areas of development than males (Sharma, 2014).
Unfortunately, there are limitations to EBI’s regarding women, especially homeless women due to lack of research that identifies the unique attributes of this populations presenting issues with specific therapeutic modalities designed for women (Dévieux et al., 2015). These under-researched factors include, but are not limited to, homeless women, homeless women with SUD’s, pregnant homeless women and pregnant homeless women with SUD’s with barriers that include availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability. The WWW movement has addressed these barriers with EBI’s regarding the current research that suggests that women misuse substances later in life with their initial use introduced by male counterparts like a spouse or boyfriend. Women are more likely to suffer from undiagnosed co-occurring disorders like depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders (Dévieux et al., 2015). Women are less likely to develop alcohol-related problems than men, but substance misuse in women is causal for significant dysfunction in active daily living (ADL’s) than men (Sharma, 2014).
Pregnant women with SUD’s are likely to be younger, minority, and never married with educational deficits, homelessness, either on public-assistance or no income and referred to treatments through the criminal justice system (Sharma, 2014). Accessing resources can be extremely challenging due to social-economic barriers like waiting periods, referrals, not qualifying, no availability, waiting lists, and programs that are male-only or do not accept women with children. These challenges can thwart efforts to seek and follow through with treatment or housing prospects and contributes to their shame and embarrassment due to lack of housing, transportation, education, financial stability, legal ramifications, employment, mental and physical health issues, social support, and lack of family involvement (Sharma, 2014).
Another factor to consider about women with substance abuse history is that they are accustomed to trading sex for drugs or money (Rash, Burki, Montezuma-Rusca & Petry, 2016). This behavior in homeless women with comorbidity can impact the reduction of sex risk-taking behaviors in therapeutic communities regarding the duration and intensity of treatment.. CM improves multiple areas of functioning, reduces substance use, and substance-related risk-taking behaviors. The residents that have been abstinent for more than nine months will be more reticent to this therapeutic strategy helping to improve their quality of life (Rash et al., 2016).
Program Goals and Objectives
WWW’s objective is to provide a 12-month gender specific, structured housing program to improve access to outreach services for the residents that need supports to address chronic, situational, and episodic homelessness in North Charleston (Inaba & Cohen, 2014). The resident’s transitional housing provisions will enlarge their access to funding applicable to their need base. The residents will be empowered by vocational training, psychoeducation, and therapeutic strategies with a social support system which will assist them with accessible and available resources, short and long-term goals, a spiritual foundation, and a financial management skillset to lay the foundation for self-efficacy and permanent residency (Scott, & Wolfe, 2015).
1. To commit to therapeutic strategies (2 weeks-12 months).
2. To abide by house policies and regulations (2 weeks-12 months).
3. To commit to screenings and assessments to gauge cognitive competencies, limitations, and strengths (first 2 weeks with follow-ups every 3 months through 12 months).
4. To commit to all psychoeducational training, groups, and counseling sessions (12 months).
5. To commit to all external agencies’ appointments (doctor, employment, legal, government assistance) and follow-ups (12 months).
6. To maintain cleanliness (personal hygiene, housekeeping) (12 months).
7. To keep a daily journal (12 months).
8. To abide by nutritional and health guidelines conducive to recommendations for personal health (medication management, diet restrictions) (12 months).
9. To demonstrate job readiness (3 months)
10. To attend regular recovery meetings and relapse prevention psychoeducation follow-ups for those with SUD history (12 months).
11. To attain a spiritual foundation through prayer to develop integrity, self-love, forgiveness, and self-efficacy (daily) (Clinton & Scalise, 2013).
1. To apply therapeutic strategies to their daily lives (2 weeks-indefinitely).
2. To attend all, follow up appointments (2 weeks-12 months).
3. To become gainfully employed or substantiate financial assistance (3 months-indefinitely)
4. To attain financial responsibility (pay bills, rent), and find permanent residency (special provisions may be made for older residents for longer-term stays) (3 months-indefinitely).
5. To maintain sobriety (one day at a time).
6. To maintain healthcare and mental health needs (12 months- indefinitely).
7. To get involved and enhance social communications (church, family relationships, social support groups) (12 months- indefinitely).
8. To develop and maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ (prayer, meditation, worship) (daily).
9. To demonstrate a spiritual foundation through prayer, integrity, self-love, forgiveness, and self-efficacy (daily).
10. To become a mentor to new residents at the facility (after transitional housing terminates) (Perkinson, Jongsma & Bruce, 2014).
Services provided will include EBI’s, psychoeducation, counseling, transportation, referrals for external resources, food, clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies, pots and pans, full home furnishings, financial management, and affordable housing assistance. The psychoeducation training will be held on-site Monday thru Friday in groups tailored to the need base of the individual residents. The various groups will consist of professional vocational training with a focus on teaching fundamental skills like reading, time management, basic computer training, accountability, phone etiquette, personal presentation (appearance, hygiene) writing resumes, and filling out applicable forms (employment and housing applications, role-play interviews). Further, financial management will entail, budgeting, balancing a checking account, and maintaining savings within that budget (Corey, Corey, & Haynes, 2014).
Counseling services will be provided using EBI’s from a bio-psycho-social model approach upon screening and assessing. This approach will determine cognitive awareness, emotional range, duel diagnoses, motivational building, strengthening, commitment, engagement, social functioning, physical capabilities, functioning to determine mentalization that will coincide with treatment planning for the residents need base. Therapeutic strategies will include cognitive behavioral therapy with a spiritual component (CBTS), CM, and motivational interviewing. Also, external referrals will be provided by administrative staff and counselors to doctors, pro-bono lawyers, government assistance, VA hospital, affordable housing assistance, and other agencies conducive to the residents' need base.
Transportation will be provided by medical assistance transportion, housing staff, volunteers, and licensed resident’s participation as drivers to take them to and from their designated appointments, and recovery meetings only. North Charleston has a transit system that the residents must become familiar with before gainful employment is established. This will assist them with time management to reach their destination promptly and teach them personal responsibility. The residents will alternate two at a time with a staff member to retrieve food which will be obtained from North Charleston’s local food bank and local churches for meat, produce, canned goods, and bread with a grocery store budget to provide condiments and other pantry items like snacks, spices, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.
Structure of WWW Community for Homeless Women
The community should house fifty to one hundred residents. The staff will include a clinical psychologist once a week for intake assessments and referrals to an external psychiatrist and collaborative team of physicians for medication regulation, two community care counselors experienced with addiction and recovery specializing in sexual, physical, and mental traumas in women (Perkinson, Jongsma & Bruce, 2014). The administrative staff will consist of a CEO, an office manager and assistant, a minister, an accountant, and a board member on call in the evenings and on weekends. Thirteen community board members will contribute new ideas for the program like funding, fundraising coordinating, expansion, and voting on new policies (Scott, & Wolfe, 2015).
The WWW residents will be referred to as the residents to give a more personal touch and speak the power of personal residency over their lives at all times. The residents will be given a policy book that they must read each Saturday together at the house meeting which will be held once a week on Saturday morning. The residents will receive an individual assessment every two weeks on their limitations and strengths to determine their need base in areas of cleanliness both personal and domestic, vocational, motivation, and employable preparedness in efforts to create short and long-term goals in alignment with their strengths (Scott, & Wolfe, 2015).
Residents will be screened for all substances as abstinence is a requirement for residency. WWW will use the screening tool carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) which has more validity in females to determine levels of substance consumption from testing blood. Abnormalities in the blood will indicate when substances have been consumed and determine abstinence for twenty days (Hester & Miller, 2003). Also, the Explicit Mention Substance Abuse Need for Treatment in Women (EMSANT-W), is a gender-tailored code-based screening tool that BBMHW can utilize as a clinical modification diagnostic that can be applied to hospital administrative data to assess former conditions present in the residents' diagnostic hospital records (Derrington et al., 2015).
The residents will be required to keep a daily journal of seven things that they are grateful for every night. They will be instructed to call a house meeting when conflicts arise to express and work through their grievances and conflicts collaboratively as a group (Corey, Corey, & Haynes, 2014). The residents will collectively contribute to household duties with a specific chore list that details each chore. The residents will have a curfew of 11 pm, and special provisions will be provided for the residents that work the graveyard shift. The residents will meet with staff Monday-Friday to participate in psychoeducational groups conducive to their specific work schedule that will educate them about self-love, efficacy, nutrition, parenting, healthy boundaries, financial management, academic preparedness, cooking, cleaning, and a serenity Bible course to apply a spiritual component to their goals (Corey, Corey, & Haynes, 2014).
An in-depth analysis of the WWW residents will be conducted by utilizing prevalence data to identify funding sources, the system of care, barriers, presenting issues and recommendations (Retrieved from Community Planning and Development n.d., 2019). This analysis will be measured in comparison to local and regional descriptions of care delivery of systems for homeless women (Scott, & Wolfe, 2015). The results of the analysis will identify the residents barriers with a thorough examination of data, policies, procedures and practices utilized by homeless transitional housing for women, supportive housing organizations, and low income public housing programs (LIPHP) while seeking external funding to end homelessness in North Charleston (Retrieved from Community Planning and Development n.d., 2019).
The staff will keep records of each resident by using an individual service plan (ISP) worksheet which provides a basic format for recording required information with simplicity (Retrieved from Community Planning and Development n.d., 2019). The ISP will monitor the residents’ progress correlated with BBMW’S goals of housing stability, skillset, income, motivation, readiness, and self-determination (Retrieved from Community Planning and Development n.d., 2019). Their progress will be determined through routine case management assessments from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to monitoring the resident’s overall success, funds allotted, and to observe WWW accountability. The information collected will be stored on a spreadsheet as well as a physical file, and USB drive in case of technical difficulties. The only staff privy to the resident's records will be the residents upon request, the CEO, counselors, physicians, and psychologists/psychiatrists (Martin, 2018).
The budgeting system for WWW will reflect funding requirements for accounting records and source documentation to clearly define the propriety of funds provided. The budget will entail the grant award, authorizations, obligations, assets, liabilities, expenditures, and income (Retrieved from Community Planning and Development n.d., 2019). Further, records will account for paid bills, time and attendance of residents, contracts, staffing salaries estimated at 250.000 dollars annually, company transportation one time cost of 18,000, and 3,600 gas annually, housing property will be purchased outright at 100,000 dollars, and the cost baseline for residents will be minimum wage 80-100 dollars a week, per resident after 30- 60 days of employment. The toiletries (soap, tampons, pads, make-up, shampoo, deodorant) and cleaning supplies will be donated by community-based organizations and board members and provided for the residents the first thirty days of residency. However, a special budget for toiletries and cleaning supplies will include 200.00 dollars a month in case of lack.
Recommendations to sustain WWW after the grant has been spent will entail working with stakeholders and policy influencers through grant writing, staffing interns, fundraisers, partnerships, advocates, exposure, success rates, substantial community awareness about the target population, and volunteers to substantiate more affordable housing opportunities. Community building, partnerships, sharing resources, maintaining limited personnel, and accessing new partners will strengthen and expand sustainable funding resources. This process is arduous and timely and leadership in sustainability planning may involve reaching out to the initial grant supporters with the same adaptation and implementation process to effectively champion sustainability success (Scott, & Wolfe, 2015).
Prayer and scripture applications are faith-based interventions will be introduced to residents as an additional source for the residents to find strength, endurance, commitment, and purpose through their interpersonal conflicts and to overcome the effects of their situational homelessness. This will not be a forced or be a mandatory requirement. However, WWW believes understanding the role that God has in the resident's restoration process will encourage them to apply Scriptural references to their specific life stressors that are listed biblically with loving instruction. Faith is essential for sustainable efficacy but will not work without action in the direction towards what cannot yet be seen (June & Black, 2011).
This proposal is a prophecy of what is to come and what can be done to edify the lives of homeless women in North Charleston and surrounding Tri-County. We also offer this platform for launching a custom community initiative and will assist any interested to develop structured housing programs and services for the targeted female population. Implementing strategies with community awareness to support the collaborative process of change and sustainability for the WWW movement to thrive will entail funding, resources, and solutions that correlate with their need base. The structure, program goals, and objectives, services provided, budgeting, funding, external resources, and a spiritual foundation through faith are pivotal to carrying out the delivery of services necessary for sustainability. WWW’s primary purpose is to serve women from all demographics to substantiate safe, clean, structured shelter housing, assistance with job placement and a skillset through therapeutic interventions that will enable them to be empowered to push forward as productive members of society (Scott & Wolfe, 2019). We urge your sincere support of this initiative.
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