Martha House provides long-term transitional housing for women and their children, fostering the goal of independent living through counseling and life skills training in a safe, supportive environment. Going beyond mere shelter, this program seeks to address many of the fundamental causes of homelessness, poverty, joblessness, and inability to find and maintain affordable housing, and to build foundations that will prevent their recurrence.
The comprehensive case management program at the Martha Houses takes into account the whole individual and includes the development of an individual service strategy for each resident. Through collaboration with other social service agencies, our case manager assists residents in finding education, job training, and employment; obtaining benefits, referrals to abuse services and health care providers; and transportation to services. Short-and long-term goals are established and monitored. Working with a certified financial counselor as part of our Financial Independence Program, residents learn to budget, reduce and avoid debt, and take responsibility for their financial choices, which is critical to their ability to successfully transition to independent housing.
In-house life-skills workshops cover topics such as nutrition, parenting, stress management, and fire safety. Residents are assigned household duties to learn to maintain a clean, safe environment. Martha House provides children stability and access to uninterrupted schooling and social services, and reunifies families separated due to their social situations, the goal being to support a positive family environment. and to encourage and reinforce positive values. Enrichment activities for children focus
on literacy, creativity and emotional support.
As residents approach program completion, our case manager meets with them to discuss housing options, prepare a realistic budget and establish a target completion date. STEHM offers assistance by providing some basic furnishings for the new residence (mostly through donations), as well as some financial assistance with initial expenses (e.g., first month’s rent, security deposits). Our case manager then maintains contact with these graduates to ensure that things are going smoothly.