Saint John's is a great shelter that helps women get back on their feet. I've been volunteering here for a long time and I usually work with the children. They are very bright and creative and have teachers and many other volunteers that work with them while their mothers are at meetings or interviews.
This organization is horrible! I was there several years ago when my son was a baby. I didn't know at the time that the choice to go to this organization would be the biggest mistake of my life. I was pushed into a housing situation( that I was forced to accept or I had to leave) that would only accept me if I claimed to have a mental illness, domestic violence issue, or addiction. This housing situation ended up being incredibly dangerous (something similar to the projects). My son and I became targets everyday that we were there. I eventually moved out but lost custody of my son after he was repeatedly beat up by other children and I was blamed by a corrupt CPS system that St.Johns and a few other organizations are in bed with .
While I was there, I constantly heard potential donors being taken on a tour with the promises of hope and change in women's lives. One of those executives that would give the tours, bragging about the national spotlight they gained, ended up stealing $300,000 from the company without anyone knowing and I am unsure as to whether there was any prosecution.
The national spotlight they gained was from a highly biased reporter who compromised national security for professional gain by training to break into North Korean borders (I can't use names so Google for more info). This reporter also has reported how wonderful CPS is. If you look at the 2010 and 2013 investigative reports about Sacramento County CPS, you will see the incredibly corrupt system that steals children for federal tax dollars. St. John's uses scare tactics to woman to comply with the rules or CPS will get called. They seem to operate their business in the same manner as CPS, hiring former recipiants who are underqualified and have fallen victim to groupthink that still suffer from the same addictions and mental health issues that put them there. People who don't have those issues, do not look back once they get out of there. The majority of the staff working there were high or would discuss some kind of illegal activity they were involved in during slow work periods.
I now make six figures and came across this organization looking for charitable tax deductions. They treated my son and I like garbage so they will never see a dime from me. Give to SAEH or just help someone who is need by practicing good boundaries and giving a little bit of your time (if safety isn't an issue). I was very young, naive, and scared that the economy would never recover. These people should be indicted for exploiting the participants and fraud.
This area of ministry is difficult, and challenging, and it requires great patience. From what I've seen, St. John's yeam measures up.
St. John's Shelter for Women and Children is the largest shelter in Sacramento County, and the only one focused exclusively on this vulnerable population. They go far beyond providing just shelter. Their program focuses on getting homeless mothers back on their feet through economic and social reintegration. St. John's operates a comprehensive Employment Readiness Program with three branches - Plates Cafe and Catering, Plates2go and First Steps Child Development Center - where mothers learn the skills to become independent providers for their families. The vision of this program is an incredible and inspirational model of homeless services.
Review from Guidestar
I had to stay at St. Johns shelter 2 years ago and it was a terrible experience. The children were allowed to run and scream freely inside the shelter. They had no supervision. St. Johns claimed they were going to put more beds in the shelter with the funding the county gave them but that never happened. I still wonder where that money went. Often they would have supporters tour the shelter. I would listen to what the director at the time was telling the funders about the shelter which was nothing but lies. They painted a whole different picture than what the truth was. Staff was stealing supplies from the warehouse that was suppose to be for the homeless such as clothes, shoes, ect....It is an awful place to be.
St. John's Shelter for Women and Children provides a vital service in our region. They provide short term shelter, but they also work with women and their children to help them find stability in their lives...financial stability, housing stability, and stability for children. In additon to providing the shelter and having a program to transition families to permanent housing with intensive services, they also started a restaurant at which women can work...get job skills, learn to succeed, and get a good reference. This type of economic development is invaluable. Their staff are dedicated, skilled and great advocates for the families they serve.