It has been a very humbling experience volunteering at Manna House, a transitional housing program for women and their children. The small dedicated staff is committed to assisting their clients and families to the transition from homelessness and dependence on society to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. In addition of being homeless, many of the women they serve have not had many advantages in life. Many come from broken homes, poverty and have not received any social support.
They come to Manna House with low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and little hope because of the negative experiences in their lives. Some have a history of substance abuse and domestic violence that are addressed during their stay. Each resident works closely with her case manager to develop an individual goal plan that assists them to achieve their goals as they transition from welfare to work. These plans include activities based on each individuals needs and may involve obtaining a high school diploma, driver's licenses or vocational and career training. Manna House offers the opportunity to enhance each individual’s life skills and provide education and training in developing new skills. The areas addressed include but are not limited to parenting, budgeting, nutrition, meal planning, anger management, addiction education, computer training and health issues for women and children.
It has been a privilege witnessing these young mothers transformation as they accomplish their goals and begin to realize their full potential. For over 25 years and over 1,000 women and children later, the need for Manna House still exist to assist homeless as they start their journey from homelessness to living in their own apartment.