For families with small children, any housing crisis is extremely serious and even more difficult to reverse compared to households with one or two adults. Many Jumpstart families are headed by a single parent with children, which requires multi-bedroom housing that is in very short supply. The majority are unable to work due to the cost of childcare with few sources of alternative income.
Through Jumpstart, DOORWAYS offers housing in the City of St. Louis in multi-bedroom apartments to provide immediate stabilization to families with children. Limited to 18 households at any point in time, Jumpstart provides residents with focused support to establish a stable foundation. After an intensive intake assessment and goal prioritization, clients receive assistance enrolling in benefit programs, foo assistance programs, accessing needed resources, and adhering to a healthcare regimen to improve their health and their hope. This requires commitment to consistent medication management, improved nutrition, and self-care for themselves and their children.
As their health improves, so does their energy and self-efficacy, able to focus on a future with more independence. Living in unsubsidized housing, though, requires more than a minimum wage. Clients are encouraged to enroll in GED programs, community colleges, universities, apprenticeship programs, trade schools, job training programs, etc. Simultaneously, they are offered self-development skills to fill gaps created by a legacy of poverty. Independent living requires skills that allow budgeting limited funds for unlimited expenses, managing conflict and stress, taking care of a household, effective parenting methods, and so forth.
A first step in stabilization is to establish the behaviors that will lead to and sustain viral suppression/undetectable status to improve health outcomes. Advancing independence is the second goal. Unlike emergency housing, Jumpstart does not operate with a 60-day limit. This program provides a multi-year support network.
Success stories include clients who are able to move into unsubsidized housing, clients who earn college degrees or complete trade school, clients whose children graduate from high school, clients who are able to manage their healthcare and sustain undetectable status. Each story is individual and unique, capturing achievements that would not have been possible without the housing and supportive services provided by DOORWAYS.
If you are interested in assistance, please click here to go to the CLIENT PROCESS page or call the program office at 314-328-2717 during office hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
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