Saint John’s provides safe and supportive transitional housing for women and children in combination with our comprehensive program targeting the root causes of homelessness, poverty and abuse.
Transitional Housing for Women and Children
Established on the steps of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in 1985 as an emergency shelter for 20 women and children, Saint John’s Program for Real Change now has the capacity to house 329 women and children in Sacramento as they work toward a more stable life and permanent housing.
Housing on Campus
Our residential facility provides a safe, structured, smoke-free and sober environment for families.
- 3 residential buildings with 75 bedrooms and 264 beds
- 24/7 staff and security
- Large dining hall and kitchen providing 3 nutritious meals each day
- 2 community living rooms
- 2 women’s restroom/shower areas and 2 restroom/shower areas for boys
- 2 classrooms
- Computer lab
- Career Education and Placement Center
- Private counseling and case management offices
- 2 group/family therapy rooms
- 2 laundry facilities
- 2 play areas with a green space
- Outdoor sitting area
- Fitness room
- Large two-story storage area
- Ample parking with handicap parking and access
- Close proximity to shopping and light rail
Saint John’s Square
As the newest addition to our campus, the transitional housing community at Saint John’s Square can house up to 55 women and children. It provides residents with experience running and maintaining a household to help prepare them for independence.
Each two-bedroom, one-bath unit is fully furnished with a washer and dryer. A unit provides transitional housing for two small families or can be used as a single-family home for larger families. Residents at Saint John’s Square can also continue to access supportive services, programs and facilities on the main campus.
There are numerous naming and sponsorship opportunities for Saint John’s Square, including naming an individual home, helping decorate it for a family, and naming a bench or table. Reach out to our team for more information.
In partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Saint John’s operates a residential center with 50 beds available to help serious and violent female offenders re-enter the community. This parallel program mirrors our homelessness program and includes in-depth wrap-around services targeting the root cause of their struggles.
Pathway to Permanent Housing
Our 12-18 month residential program supports mothers experiencing homelessness through the process of rehabilitating and re-assimilating into the workforce and our community. While each woman’s journey is different, there are typically five stages you’ll pass through in working toward Real Change, permanent housing and self-sufficiency at Saint John’s.
“Today, my children reside with me in my own apartment with the help of the Saint John’s Independent Housing Program. I am not only employable but I am now the general manager of Club Pilates, and I absolutely love what I do.”Julianna, Saint John’s alum
When families first arrive, they’re assigned a case manager and therapist who conduct physical, vocational, and psycho/social collaborative assessments to form an individualized plan for success. This may include domestic violence support services, addiction recovery counseling, life improvement classes, basic education, or whatever services and support needed to build a new life for themselves.
We’ll also conduct an assessment to determine their vulnerability for future homelessness using the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) and offer initial housing preparation services during this stage of the program.
They’ll begin hands-on employment training at one of Saint John’s three social enterprises. Their educational classes and activities expand and include exercise and wellness, high school enrollment, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous group meetings, life skills training, technology basics, and job readiness. Case management and individual/family therapy will also continue through this stage of the program.
At this stage, families move to less-structured, communal housing and continue to work toward eliminating barriers to permanent housing. They’ll focus on completing hands-on employment training, career exploration, resume and professional reference building, mock interviews, search and placement services, and building a positive support network. Budget goals include $750 in a savings account and planned progress on debt reduction and resolution.
The primary focus is employment and budgeting, obtaining and maintaining employment that will generate sufficient income to achieve and maintain permanent housing, and continuing to follow a workable family budget that ensures regular and on-time rent payments.
Women advancing to this stage are placed in employment, initially at 20 to 25 hours each week and gradually moving up to full-time. They’ll achieve a high school diploma and begin the move into permanent housing.
By this time, they’ve completed financial literacy training and Ready-to-Rent initiatives. Savings plans (typically $1,000) have begun, including credit and criminal background expungement or clean-up. Case management services continue throughout this time.
At this final level, they’re self-reliant and confident in stable housing with a full-time job. Once they leave our transitional housing for women and children, families may participate in our after-care services, including therapy, access to basic supplies, and other assistance for up to three years.
Each step is flexible with the amount of time required to allow each family to move at their own pace.
Supporting the Transition
Moving from homelessness to permanent housing and stability isn’t something that can happen overnight. The women and children that we work with work hard to earn their new lives. To help with their journey, Saint John’s Program for Real Change offers individualized support to each woman.
- Specialized classes that include topics like Navigating Barriers, Money Matters, and Ready-to-Rent curriculum
- Assistance with housing searches
- Support with rent/landlord negotiations
- Moving preparation and logistics