We have new programs. We have upcoming events!!
A. Late last year we started a new Transitional Housing program, funded by the Department of Justice/Office of Violence Against Women. A collaboration with our friends at YWCA of Central Alabama, this program provides supportive care and intense case management by First Light, coupled with an apartment in YWCA's housing. This program is designed specifically for women who became homeless as a result of domestic violence. Over the next three years we expect to assist at least 12 shelter guests who qualify with an array of services they can choose from to retrain for jobs, recover from trauma, learn better self preserving skills in relationships, and varied other kinds of assistance to help them rebuild their lives. There is an 18-24 month cap, meaning the maximum time in the program would normally be 18 months with 6 months of followup. This has been a wonderful addition because it opened another option to shelter guests who did not meet criteria of the other programs. And it is a fine example of collaboration bewteen two stellar agencies.
B. This September we have launched a new HUD funded permanent supportive housing program we call Noah's Ark. Guests from the shelter who have disabling conditions which have kept them from living independently will qualify for this program. Those conditions may include physical conditions like COPD and diabetes, addictions, HIV/AIDS, as well as mental illnesses.
Our housing programs then, are as follows:
1. 4th floor permanent supportive housing for 9 women w/severe mental illness
2. Shelter + Care for 17 women and 6 children
FL provides supportive care; Jefferson Cty Housing Authority provides vouchers
3. Bessemer HUD permanent supportive housing for women who have been
4. HUD East permanenet supportive housing for women who have been chronically homeless
5. DOJ Transitional housing for women who became homeless as a result of domestic violence.
6. Noah's Ark permanent supportive housing for women with disabling conditions.
We want friends of First Light to understand that we pursued these programs in order to create housing options for emergency shelter guests who had few resources that enabled them to move on to stable situations. Moreover, our community does not provide enough affordable housing options for these poorest of the poor. The grant funds for the housing programs pay for rent and they pay for a social worker to deliver supportive care to shelter guests who will be more likely to succeed in stable housing because of that support. However, those grant funds do NOT support the operation of the shelter, which is, of course, critically important in setting the stage for success. For that support, we must look to the community, churches, individuals and our own fund raisers to sustain the day to day operations.
C. Mark your calendars Y'all!!!
The Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, November 17th from 8:30 - 11AM at The Clubhouse on Highland. There ie free parking at nearby Independent Presbyterian Church. Here are the ticket rates:
Breakfast only = $7
Breakfast + 5 chances (buck slips) to win door prizes = $10
Chances to win door prizes (buck slips) = $1 apiece
To have your name entered in a drawing to win TWO tickets to this year's IRON BOWL = $10
There is more to tell--it will be so much fun to be in this charming southside home-- and celebrate volunteerism and to honor Volunteer of the Year, Emma Taylor.
ALSO--if you are a business owner and would like to be a "sponsor" of the Pancake Breakfast for $250, please contact Lani Powell, at 205-323-4277.
More info to come---check us out on Facebook !!!