We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Sierra Health Foundation for the invaluable support and ongoing partnership with Saint John’s Program for Real Change. On behalf of the 450 formerly homeless women and children we serve annually, we express our deepest gratitude for your commitment to making a meaningful impact in their lives.
Thanks to the dedicated investment of $25,000 from Sierra Health Foundation, we will be able to enhance and expand our services specifically tailored to the success and well-being of the children in our program. This funding will play a crucial role in creating a nurturing and empowering environment where children can thrive and overcome the challenges they have faced due to homelessness.
Saint John’s plays a vital role in the Sacramento region as the sole provider offering comprehensive services to unhoused single mothers, guiding them from a state of crisis towards self-sustainability and individual well-being. We address not only the immediate needs of these mothers but also the risk factors affecting their children. Our coordinated and tailored services span up to 18 months, empowering our clients to regain custody of their children, navigate justice involvement, and access essential healthcare coverage for unmet medical needs. Notably, during the past two years, 61 children experienced the joy of being reunited with their mothers while residing at Saint John’s.
We firmly believe that creating a safe, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed environment is crucial for our clients’ success. It is with great pride that we share the achievements of our program, where 96 percent of our job-training graduates secure non-subsidized employment, and 68 percent of all clients successfully transition to stable housing.
While the women in our program work diligently to rebuild their lives, we place a strong emphasis on meeting the critical social and emotional needs of their children. Our dedicated childcare staff undergoes specialized training to provide trauma-informed care, ensuring that each child feels safe and supported. Our family services coordinator plays a pivotal role in facilitating a smooth reintegration of the children into their school communities, promoting their academic and personal success. At Saint John’s, families experience the transformative benefits of living in a safe, structured, and predictable environment.
Time is of the essence when it comes to the well-being of children. The cumulative effects of childhood trauma resulting from family homelessness can lead to significant developmental and social-emotional challenges during critical periods of their growth. Alarming data from school districts reveal that homeless children are more likely to face poor school performance outcomes, including chronic absenteeism and suspension, and are at a higher risk of not graduating from high school.
Furthermore, it is essential to recognize that the foster system does not universally provide a beneficial alternative for homeless children. Disturbing statistics indicate that more than a quarter of 23-year-olds surveyed experienced homelessness or unstable housing after aging out of California’s extended foster care. Nationally, half of the homeless population has a history in foster care. Therefore, at Saint John’s, we are actively seeking state grant funding to strengthen families, enhance caregiver skills and resilience, and facilitate family reunification.
Once again, we express our utmost gratitude to Sierra Health Foundation for their steadfast dedication to our mission. The foundation’s support allows us to make a tangible difference in the lives of women and children, breaking the cycle of homelessness and empowering them to thrive. Together, we are forging a brighter future for all.