The programs we provide are designed to empower individuals towards greater self-sufficiency and independence, as achieved through maintaining employment and permanent housing. We deliver four primary programs: Almost Home Transitional Shelter, Going Home Rapid Rehousing, Job TREC and Financial Education.
Almost Home provides homeless women and children with a safe, comfortable living space with trained, compassionate staff and volunteers. Families are provided a private room for up to two years. AAHS can shelter six families at any given time. From July 2012 – July 2013 AAHS supported 19 mothers and 38 children.
A qualified case manager provides intensive, comprehensive ongoing case management services for each resident. Together, they develop an individualized case plan including mutually agreed upon goals toward achieving greater independency.
AAHS also provides child care vouchers to residents. Access to affordable, quality childcare is one of the most significant obstacles faced by families in poverty. By providing a family with safe and affordable childcare, the program allows mothers to find and maintain stable employment.
Residents are provided with life skills classes and individual mentors from the community. Volunteers are invited to teach skills classes on anything from how to use a computer to how to cook kid friendly and healthy food on a budget.
These programs empower residents to look at what their life might be once they have left the shelter for permanent housing. In 2013 87% of AAHS residents maintained permanent housing six months after leaving the Almost Home program.
Going Home provides case management support, rental and utility assistance to families in Athens that are ready for permanent housing. We'll provide scaled support over the course of the program, with the clients gradually increasing their own level of responsibility until they are fully independent.
As always, our goal at the shelter is to look below the surface at root issues, working toward sustainable solutions. Going Home is a huge stride forward in this direction, and we need the community's support more than ever to continue supporting families as they strive for independence. From July 2012 – July 2013, Going Home provided assistance to move 35 families into permanent, sustainable housing. This includes 76 children.
JobTREC (Job Training, Referral, and Education Center) is an employment and education assistance program for HUD-eligible homeless individuals in Clarke County. Since it’s inception in 1996, JobTREC has served over 4,000 homeless individuals with supportive services designed to help them break the cycle of homelessness. Residents of community shelters as well as other homeless individuals in Athens are eligible for this program.
In addition to job training and referral opportunities, JobTREC clients will receive weekly case management, assistance with obtaining mental health and substance abuse services, transportation, health care, and uniform and equipment assistance. Follow up care will be provided as needed to clients who obtain employment and housing. From July 2012 – July 2013, JobTREC served 223 individuals in the Athens community.
The goal of the revised JobTREC program is to provide a smaller number with more intensive services, therefore decreasing the amount of time it takes to find long-term employment and increasing the ability to maintain employment and break the cycle of homelessness.
Financial Education is our newest program at AAHS. Clients who are identified both in AAHS programs and through other community organizations receive intensive financial literacy training and one on one case management for ten weeks. These sessions provide clients with budgeting, bank accounts, credit checks, and smart spending skills. In the next year this program will provide financial support to 30 families in Athens.
With a poverty rate of over 34% Athens-Clarke County remains one of the poorest communities in the nation. Programs like those provided by the Athens Area Homeless Shelter are critical in the alleviation of poverty and homelessness throughout the Athens area.
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