For many facing homelessness, it is not enough to provide temporary shelter. We developed the S4 Program (Shelter - Stability - Support - Success) with the aim of providing the individuals and families we serve with the services and tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and reclaim their independence.
S4 involves rigorous case management catered to each guests specific needs and an incremental progression from shelter to transitional housing to self-sufficiency.
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In rural areas, services tend to be spread out, making it very difficult for people to navigate – or even know what is available to them – without assistance. We created S4 (Shelter – Stability – Support – Success), the purpose of which is to act as a hub/liaison for local service agencies and guide guests through each step in the process of putting their lives back together and moving back into self-sufficiency.
After a background check and interview conducted by our Executive Director Julie Lowe and Operations Manager Fran Doran, approved individuals and families are invited to stay at Easton’s Promise. With an ever-changing population of men, women and families with children, having six private rooms with their own bathrooms enables us to serve any combination of individuals who present at any moment in time while still ensuring a safe shelter environment for all. Easton's Promise also provides the unique experience of a homelike environment, which greatly improves the comfort of the children who stay with us, and provides the adults with a renewed sense of dignity, something that often suffers as a result of experiencing homelessness.
Once they are sheltered, guests work with Ms. Doran to create a plan that fits their particular needs and will help them to regain financial stability. Ms. Doran provides case management, connecting guests with the necessary service providers and supervising them as they work their plan. We also provide educational programming such as parenting, budgeting, and health classes, relapse prevention strategies, anger management, and the "Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin' By World" program, which helps guests identify and pool their resources to build a path out of poverty.
As the result of partnerships with the Housing Commission of Talbot and one private landlord, we have been able to procure eight off-site apartments. Once guests are stable enough, they are invited to move from the shelter facility into transitional housing. Rent is subsidized, and guests continue to receive rigorous case management (support) for one to two years as they incrementally take over their expenses until they are fully self-sufficient (success).
We are unbelievably fortunate to have the support of more than 450 incredible volunteers, who donate over 10,000 hours of their time each year to provide supervision, meals and fellowship for our guests at Easton's Promise. We have 31 volunteer teams, one for each day of the month. Each team has a coordinator who makes sure we have supervision for our 7-10 am shift, volunteers to prepare and share dinner with our guests, and supervision for our 7-11 pm shift. We also have a group of volunteers who provide supervision during the day, and paid staff who oversee the shelter overnight.
Even with our wealth of volunteer assistance, we still have some team spots left to fill. In addition, as our transitional program grows, we are looking for opportunities to work with other local landlords who are willing to provide housing opportunities for some very deserving families in need. If you are interested in forming a volunteer team or becoming a transitional housing partner, contact our Executive Director, Julie Lowe, at 410-310-2316.