“Fresh Start is amazing beyond words I can express, a place of healing for the broken and devastated.” - Quote from a former client
Your Give to Lincoln Day donation will go to fund the food, shelter, and case management for homeless women who are striving to become independent again.
THE WOMEN WE SERVE
Women may be homeless for any reason, and Fresh Start assists an underserved group: women without children in their custody. This group typically waits longer for services since they are not part of a family unit, and the women often have multiple barriers — addiction, domestic violence, legal issues or recent release from incarceration — that make it difficult to become independent again. Through Fresh Start, these women have an opportunity to turn their lives around and move forward, toward a more positive and healthy future. And in 25 years, Fresh Start has provided 1,500 shelter stays for women in need.
Fresh Start offers a stay of up to one year. During that time, all basic needs are provided, along with case management to assist the women in accomplishing their goals. A staff member is on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer support, guidance and accountability. Common goals include securing safe and permanent housing, finding or improving a source of income and addressing barriers such as addiction, mental health or physical health issues. Case management is available for two years after they leave the shelter, to help maintain a woman’s success.
Transitional programs like Fresh Start offer an opportunity often not available in the emergency shelter setting. The focus on long-term change in women's lives results in long-term change in our community. The longer length of stay affords residents more opportunity to focus on their long-term goals and address barriers to self-sufficiency.
FORMER CLIENT STORIES
Rhonda (name has been changed) graduated high school and went to college. She received her BA in Psychology and worked at a treatment center. She also took art classes and was talented in sculpture. Rhonda developed medical issues. She came to Fresh Start after losing her housing and her job. While at Fresh Start, Rhonda obtained the health care that she needed and started utilizing services available through the local Vocational Rehabilitation office. She was able to take classes and learn how to manage her new condition without having to worry about where her next meal was going to come from or how she was going to pay the rent while getting better. Rhonda went back to school for training in a new field– welding!
Peggy (name has been changed) was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Accepting responsibility for own behavior was not easy at first, but she eventually went to treatment and learned to take responsibility for her life. She also learned about the issues and negative thinking that contributed to her addiction. While at Fresh Start, Peggy continued to hold herself accountable. The staff supported her by providing resources, encouraging her and by also holding her accountable to her decisions and behaviors. Peggy regained visitation rights with her children, started attending family counseling and secured housing while at Fresh Start. She continues to take steps to maintain her sobriety and also to be a better parent.