Rating: 4 stars 1 review
Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services
Location: P.O. Box 18 Elberta AL 36530 USA
Mary''s Shelter Gulf Coast is a caring home for homeless, adult pregnant women who choose life for their unborn child. Mary''s Shelter Gulf Coast provides family-style living while educating women in the life skills needed to become independent and contributing members of their community.
Programs: Empower Me to Make Informed Decisions is a token economy based program that rewards mothers for completion of tasks, classes and activities. The points awarded can then be used by the mothers to purchase items from the Empower Me Store located in the shelter. Women participate in case management, individual and group counseling, education (either GED or college), and other classes and groups focused on areas identified through individual assessment and care plans. Participation in the program is a requirement for women at the shelter. Life skills such as meal planning, grocery purchasing, meal preparation and service; laundry; housecleaning; money management and budgeting, etc. are also addressed during residency at the shelter. Transitional housing following departure from the shelter is available with continued case management.
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I have worked at Mary's Shelter previously. This is the only shelter for homeless, pregnant adult women within several counties. The shelter not only provides a home environment for these mothers but also offers a variety of classes to develop and enhance each mother's self esteem, abilities, life skills and chances of overcoming the cycle of homelessness and making a better life for herself and her children. Mothers who choose to come to the shelter and participate in the program can stay up to 6 months following the birth of their child. They are assisted to access community resources and have the opportunity to expand their education either through GED classes and /or college courses. There is also an opportunity to participate in a Transitional Housing Program which subsidizes rent, utilities and other housing costs while the mother finds employment and is able to provide for herself and her children. Women completing this program have responded that their lives are significantly improved as a result of participating at Mary's Shelter. There are numerous volunteers that assist with classes, transportation, etc.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
As the Executive Director, i was able to see the benefits received by the women participating in and completing this program. Many of these mothers have gone on to become contributing membes of their communities.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Expand knowledge of this program into surrounding communities; recruit volunteers and mentors.