A house, a home, a roof over your head, a place to call your own – many people take “shelter” for granted, but for some, this basic human need has been lost. At Sojourner House, our Transitional Housing Program provides shelter in a community-living environment where women and their children have a safe place to live while beginning to address the problems that caused their homelessness. Most women are dealing with multiple issues, such as mental illness, poverty, drug or alcohol addiction, domestic violence, inadequate education, family separation, sexual and/or physical abuse. Competent, supportive, professional staff assist residents with counseling, training, and planning the goals they will focus on as they take the next step of their journey.
The program is called “transitional” because it is temporary; it represents a transition from a life of instability to a life of stability, from dependence to independence, from chaos to order. The journey to self-sufficiency and family stability begins as women enter the program committed to reclaiming their spirits, rebuilding their lives, and maintaining their sobriety. The Transitional Housing program at Sojourner House takes place in our main building at 30 Millbank Street, where women and their children typically reside for 3-6 months.
Sojourner House provides individualized counseling and case management, intensive life skills training for the women, and nurturing children’s programs, as well as providing for their basic needs. Families thrive in Sojourner House’s family-like, community living environment that fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among the women and their children. The words of a former resident eloquently describes the kinship that develops among Sojourner House families and the difference it makes in their lives:
“It is not just a house of women and children hoping to put their lives back together. It is a house of miracles where lives are transformed. It is a sanctuary, where nurturing of the spirit begins, where the process of healing and loving of self takes place. With hard work, dedication, and patience, the gift is unfolded. Through parenting of self and through our children, a whole life is turned around.”
The short-term success of Sojourner House families is dependent upon the connections, knowledge, skills and tools gained through the programs and services provided in the Transitional Housing Program:
Sense of Community
Safe shelter is only the beginning of what Sojourner House offers. The women of Sojourner House find kinship in one another and draw strength from each other. The innovative Transitional Housing Program brings together the following aspects of community living to create a safe, nurturing environment in which to transform their lives. Such as:
- Structured schedules
- Shared household responsibilities
- Family-style dinners
- Weekly community meetings
- Support groups
- Staff Involvement
The caring and knowledgeable staff of Sojourner House provides personalized case management. Every resident receives daily encouragement and the following on-going supports to help achieve her personal goals:
- One-on-one counseling
- Crisis intervention when needed
- Assistance setting goals and follow-up on her progress
- Referrals to needed services and programs
- Ongoing support and encouragement
“The staff of strong, intelligent and independent women inspired me in all aspects of my life. They helped me put my life together, one tiny piece at a time. They cared for me when I could not care for myself. They loved me when I could not love myself. Most of all, they believed in me until I learned to believe in myself.”
Skills for Life
The Henrietta Hammond Institute for Life Skills provides intensive life skills education that helps Sojourner House women gain the knowledge, skills, and tools needed for long-term success. The curriculum for this key program consists of eight “core” courses on such topics as effective parenting, money management, and job readiness, as well as “elective” classes such as yoga, creative art, and quilting.
Click here to learn more about Sojourner’s unique, innovative Life Skills Program.
Support for Family
Children who come to Sojourner House must overcome many of the same challenges as their mothers. At Sojourner House, they receive the nurturing they need and deserve through Dreamseeds, its comprehensive children’s program. The program offers the following educational and enrichment programs designed to build self-esteem, develop healthy coping strategies, inspire academic achievement, and help heal and strengthen family bonds:
- Nightly structured activities
- One-on-one tutoring twice per week
- Summer camp opportunities
- Family outings to area attractions
Click here to learn more about Sojourner House’s flourishing Children’s Programs.
After successfully completing the Transitional Housing Program, the women and their families live independently in one of Sojourner House’s supportive living apartments or in safe affordable housing in the community. Their long-term success is dependent upon the on-going services and support they receive through Sojourner House’s Supportive Housing Program or Outreach Program. This continuum of care approach recognizes the women’s ongoing, daily struggle to achieve economic stability, to keep their family together, and remain sober.
For information about self or client referrals to the Transitional Housing Program, call 436-7100 and ask to speak with the Intake Coordinator.
Transitional Housing is provided at Susan B. Anthony Apartments, 127 First Street, Rochester, New York. Susan B. Anthony Apartments, housed in former School #27, has a total of 35 apartments, ten of which are classified as Transitional Housing. Families in these transitional apartments receive case management and supportive services from an onsite Family Services Coordinator employed by Sojourner House at PathStone. Residents stay up to two years while working toward education and employment goals and dealing with issues (e.g. substance abuse, mental illness) which have prevented them from achieving stability in the past. The case manager assists individuals to develop a personal plan to achieve self-sufficiency and move on to permanent housing. Sojourner House also offers programs for children, including tutoring, arts and cultural opportunities. The primary funding for this program is provided by Tempro Development Corporation through a HUD grant. The property is managed by the PathStone Corporation.
Eleven single and two-family homes in the Marketview Heights neighborhood of Rochester, New York provide emergency housing for homeless families for up to 30 days. A case manager, supervised by Sojourner House at PathStone, provides support services to help families find emergency assistance, appropriate services, and permanent housing. Funding for this program is provided by Tempro Development Corporation through a HUD grant, while the property is managed by PathStone Corporation.