Connecting with the Community

Small JC3Being connected to the community you live in fosters an important sense of belonging. At our supportive housing facility, Jane Cizik Garden Place (JCGP), events and activities provided by staff and volunteers give residents the chance to socialize. Every month, JCGP hosts at least three events for residents, including the much-loved Ladies’ Night organized by Terrace United Methodist Church, a potluck organized by residents, and an event organized by staff based on resident interest or feedback. These events as well as any others that occur throughout the month are all shared with residents via the monthly newsletter JCGP Sr. Case Manager Ashley Stratton and Case Manager Nena Chima compose and place on residents’ doors at the start of each month.

The newsletter not only covers the events at Jane Cizik Garden Place, but includes resident birthdays for the month and events around the city that are free or low cost. The newsletters also include healthy recipes, a literature spotlight, and a headline story that lines up with national events like Alcohol Awareness month. Resident feedback also plays a role in the featured coverage in the newsletter. For example, a resident came to staff interested in learning ways she could improve her overall wellness, and the following newsletter’s theme was optimum health.

Residents also play an important role in bringing events their neighbors can benefit from to JCGP’s campus. A few months ago, a resident was interested in participating in
, a program that helps eligible employed individuals and families with a flawed or no credit history secure and pay off a loan for a car. Ways to Work requires participants go through a one-time orientation before they provide one on one consultation services to secure a loan and support services. The interested resident asked Ways to Work to host the orientation at Jane Cizik Garden Place, allowing her and nine other residents to participate.

Another resident brought nutrition classes to JCGP when she heard her doctor’s office was offering them in the community. Other events that residents initiated have been a community-wide garage sale, and next month the opportunity for free haircuts. Knowing their suggestions effect the events and calendar each month, and hearing positive feedback from their neighbors, ensures that residents feel like they have a positive impact on their community.

The events that residents most appreciate most are ones that provide enrichment and skills they can apply in their lives. Popular classes include a financial boot camp put on by Easter Seals that teaches residents important budgeting, credit, and financial literacy skills. On a different track on Friday, October 16th a make-up artist came and gave residents styling and beauty advice. Events on site at Jane Cizik Garden Place allow all residents, even those with limited time, money or mobility, the opportunity to connect and feel a part of their residential community. One of the newer residents told case managers that the events at JCGP make her feel like “she belongs and that she’s involved.”

Building Healthy Outcomes

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Our quarterly outcome reports are an integral part to maintaining the quality of our programs and ensuring that we make the best impact possible on the lives of our residents in both our treatment and transitional program in Montrose and our supportive housing complex, Jane Cizik Garden Place (JCGP) in Spring Branch. Our outcome reports breakdown the demographics of our current clients, recent graduates and residents and serve as important tools to maintain diversity in those we serve and track what services are most needed by our residents at Jane Cizik Garden Place.

Our outcome reports for Jane Cizik Garden Place track the case management services used by residents, with the goal that each household at JCGP has at least one interaction with our case managers. Our case managers at JCGP provide residents connections with a variety of services including transportation, rent processing assistance and connection to community events. Monitoring these services ensures our residents get the support they need and seek from JCGP. (See chart below.)

JCGP Case Management Report (2)

At the end of the first quarter of 2015, our treatment and transitional housing program had an occupancy of 92% with 59 clients, up from last year’s 86% occupancy and on track for our goal of consistently having a 95% occupancy level. Our admissions Coordinator Michelle Carey-Redic received 208 phone intake calls in the first quarter, referring 159 of those callers to programs that better fit their needs and meeting in person with 34 women for intake appointments. Our treatment program focuses specifically on aiding women who are homeless and facing mental illness, addiction or both, but we receive many calls from potential clients who do not match our services. Callers such as women seeking immediate shelter for themselves and their children, women without history of mental illness or addiction, or women who are still in the first 90 days of their sobriety are referred to organizations that can help. This screening process ensures potential residents are given the best chance of success from the beginning by placing them with programs best equipped to assist them.

In the first quarter, eight of our treatment and transitional housing clients graduated our treatment and transitional housing program after staying at least 6 months. All eight graduates left with income as well as permanent housing 100% of our treatment and transitional housing program’s graduates left with income as well as permanent housing. Having all of our graduating residents leave with housing and income is one of our main goals for ensuring our graduates leave the program with stable lives and the best chance for long-term success.