As of today, we have EIGHT off-site Mother’s Clubs. Last year we set a goal to have 12 off-site Mother’s Clubs, all run by SFI graduates, by the end of 2018 but it looks like we might have that many by the end of 2017!! Six of them are at local elementary schools and one is at the Oasis Family Resource Center. The coolest thing about these new ones is that they came to us! Two of them are at area elementary schools and one is at the Rockwood Apartments, a new homeless initiative housing project.
Here is how they described themselves in a recent newspaper article: “Rockwood Apartments offers quality, permanent supportive housing with services vital to help formerly homeless residents and people living with mental illness. The new community underscores what can be achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate to solve what many may see as a seemingly unsolvable housing problem and, in doing so, open a new horizon of hope for families and people who struggle with life ‘s challenges,” said Laura Archuleta, President of Jamboree Housing Corporation.
The development consists of 17 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom and 21 three-bedroom apartment homes ranging from 727 to 1,202 square feet. The project also includes 15 fully furnished MHSA units (CA Mental Health Services Act) which provide crucial stability and support for homeless or at-risk homeless families living with mental illness.
But here’s what it means to us. We have been asked to come on-site and provide a Mother’s Club. It’s a different population than we are used to working with, but we believe there is real potential to bring our effective transformational approach to another group of mothers that need the dignity, dreams, strong families, and hope that are foundational in our program. It’s definitely a tougher crowd. These women have suffered much, often because of their own destructive choices, and are still struggling to be stable and productive and to find a pathway to hope. Normally, we have SFI grads facilitate these groups, but as we start this one, Mary Little and I are facilitating. Our goal is to move as many of them as we can through to the Strong Families Institute with the hope that as they become SFI grads they will take over the group and be part of the transformation of the families in their own complex. We’ll see.
It’s energizing and fascinating and a chance to share our hope with another population that is often dismissed as unreachable. We are humbled that we were asked, motivated to give it our best shot, and praying fervently that God will use us to help them find a pathway to hope…it’s what we do and more importantly, it’s what HE does! “This hope we have is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19).