Since 1957, The Women’s Home has provided housing and tailored support services to help prevent and end homelessness in the Houston area. Our programs target individuals who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness – many have histories of addiction and mental illness. Through our residential treatment program and our permanent supportive housing program, our clients cultivate the skills and self-esteem necessary to overcome life-long cycles of homelessness. The results are healthy, productive lives.
One of the core values of our programming is holistic growth. In order to give the women in our care a true chance at a successful, productive life, we believe treatment must address and heal the whole person. To that end, we developed a model of care called WholeLife which distinguishes us from other programs with a similar focus. This extremely effective approach addresses the whole person and their individual needs. Rather than focusing an isolated issue, such as addiction, we actually address six different areas of wellness: emotional, financial, physical, social, spiritual and vocational. Our WholeLife program is unique in Houston, not only in concept and scope, but also in its success rate. WholeLife treats clients from the perspective of not only addressing an addiction or mental illness but also helping them maintaining their recovery and allowing them to thrive in work and in a permanent home.
The effort to cultivate emotional and mental wellness focuses on providing resources for clients to break unhealthy cycles and foster beneficial coping skills when dealing with addiction and mental health issues. These resources include facilitating group and individual therapy, as well as psychiatric services for clients in our treatment and transitional housing program. We also connect tenants of our Jane Cizik Garden Place facility with mental health professionals and services. Our programs are gender specific, client centered and evidence based.
Financial struggles can limit access to important resources and cause great stress. This stress can lead to relapse and unhealthy emotional conditions.
We provide clients of all our programs with the resources and tools they need to learn effective financial literacy. These skills include planning and budgeting, with methods to build good credit and reduce debt. Financial wellness also includes assisting clients with opening savings accounts as well as connecting them with needed financial services and assistance. We partner with experts like The Women’s Resource, Neighborhood Centers and Easter Seals to provide classroom services. Case managers also work individually with clients on both of our campuses to take what they have learned in the classroom to fruition.
Good physical health is invaluable to emotional and mental wellness. Our treatment and transitional housing program provides nutritionally balanced meals and helps clients build healthy eating habits with the guidance of a dietitian. We connect clients with needed medical services, and our housing facilities offer transportation and access to local food pantries. In addition, there is a fully stocked pantry at Jane Cizik Garden Place, with an inventory maintained by community volunteers. All of our facilities have on-site fitness equipment, and through the help of volunteers, clients have access to a variety of fitness classes.
Maintaining healthy social relationships is an integral part of a stable support system. With the help of community volunteers, we provide clients with opportunities to attend social events, resources to organize events themselves and chances to connect and bond with others sharing similar interests. In addition, classes are offered to develop better relationship skills, healthy boundaries, conflict resolution and resident councils that work on community well-being. The relationships fostered between residents add a dimension of health and wellness because of intense social support through a network of women with similar life experiences.
Our spiritual philosophy is that we are an open, affirming, and non-affiliated organization that seeks only to cultivate spirituality in our clients’ lives, regardless of the form that spirituality takes. We have clients from all walks of life, who have had such varied experiences and histories with their spirituality that our program will only be successful if we meet clients where they are. Aided by volunteers trained as facilitators, clients of The Women’s Home’s treatment and transitional housing program are invited to explore their spirituality through a program called Courage to Search in collaboration with the Institute for Spirituality and Health. Clients are exposed to different spiritual exercises and practices, such as mediation and journaling. The journey continues with a pairing between an individual client and a volunteer companion. Through faith discussions, daily prayer and participation in a non-denominational religious community, many women commit themselves to continued spiritual growth. As a result, many find the inner peace and strength that aids in rehabilitation.
Volunteers from Spring Branch congregations also offer clients of our supportive housing complex opportunities to connect with various religious groups in the community. An on-site meditation room and meditation labyrinth provide spaces for clients to reflect and center.
Gainful employment provides far more than a paycheck. It contributes enormously to the growth of an individual’s self-esteem and sense of security. We provide vocational assessment and training for our treatment and transitional housing clients, ensuring that they find stable income before graduating. They are assisted by employment specialists who help secure jobs and a steady work history while in residence. Community volunteers at our permanent housing site offer job skills and career development training. Case managers assist in both locations with transportation, work-ready attire and other support needed to both get and keep sustaining jobs.