The unique program builds confidence, empowers and transitions females into a positive mindset at Women’s Shelter
St. John’s Ministries is always seeking new and innovative ways to help our neighbors experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The addition of the community’s only Women’s Shelter offers a unique lens into the challenges faced by women.
Because of that, the Women’s Empowerment Program was created to aid women in moving toward self-sufficiency. It is set up to empower women with the tools needed to embrace a renewed mindset for today’s challenges and beyond. This one-of-a-kind program is available to women staying in shelter. They must take extra steps to reach their goals outside of the shelter and prepare to become the best versions of themselves.
The Women’s Empowerment Program Coordinator, and Case Manager at St. John’s Ministries, Tameika Hughes-Foote says, “If you can heal a woman, you can heal an entire community.”
This is exactly what she intends to do with the program. Outside of shelter expectations and goals, Hughes-Foote empowers participants to build confidence, and strengthen themselves and each other as women in the community.
Tawana , the newest program participant, had struggled with self-care and motivation during her first nights at St. John’s. “I found myself getting stuck in the storm,” she said. One day she woke up and told herself, “I have to get through the storm to see the sunshine,” and instead of waking up with an I can’t attitude, Tawana starts each morning with a can-do attitude. With her newfound confidence and motivation, she has been approved for housing and plans to provide for herself and her two children in the very near future.
Participants say the most difficult part of the program is, by a unanimous decision — writing a love letter to themselves.
“A lot of the women in the program are fleeing or have experienced domestic abuse,” said Ginger, a program participant and guest at shelter. “When we are being degraded, verbally abused, and belittled most of our lives, it is very difficult to love ourselves.”
Each woman enters the program alone, uncertain of where the journey will take them. They are often skeptical of whether or not the program will be effective. Not only are they growing stronger, but they now have a network of women to rely on. A network to help overcome barriers, negate self-doubt through positive talk, and someone to guide them on their unique journey towards self-sufficiency, and a life better than the one they entered with.
Women’s Empowerment Program requirements include:
- At least two weeks of sobriety prior to enrolling and maintained sobriety throughout their participation.
- Regularly attend 1-on-1 personal development coaching with Program Coordinator, Tameika Hughes-Foote.
- Meet forward-moving expectations set forth with their case manager.
- Attendance and participation in group coaching and programming.
- Commit to managing any mental health illness or disorder they may have.
- Adopt new thought patterns geared towards success.
Incentives for active participants include:
- Early check-in to shelter each night.
- Access to a private conference room for meetings, phone calls, television, or peace and quiet.
- Evening access to the art room for games, arts and crafts, and other hobbies.
- Private access to the computer room outside normal hours for forward-moving purposes.
- Their own bed in the empowerment room — a separate sleeping area in shelter for participants enrolled in the Women’s Empowerment Program.