We believe the Local Church is ideally positioned and commissioned by God to step into the care of vulnerable populations, such as the Mothers and Babies in need of Refuge Host Homes.
God places the lonely in families; he sets
the prisoners free and gives them joy.
While we invite all church bodies to PRAY, GIVE, SHARE, SERVE, and LEARN, our model depends on Partner Churches who have committed to working with Refuge Host Homes in a unique way. Through financial partnership that supplements monthly rent and relationship with the mother and landlord of a rental property (we call them Restorative Landlords), a congregation can take a “hands-on” approach to meeting the housing and relational needs of Mothers in our Independent Supportive Housing phase.
Upon completion of postpartum period (ideally when baby is around 6 months of age) Mother and child(ren) desiring continued housing support will be given the opportunity to move into an Independent Supportive Housing environment. This phase will take place in one of the apartment units located throughout the community owned by our Restorative Landlords. While living in the apartment unit, the mother and child(ren) will continue to receive the wrap-around services begun in the Host Home but will now begin to experience growing independence, including paying monthly rent at a sliding scale-rate in accordance with mother’s income (30%). Mother will also be responsible to buy her own groceries. This increasing independence and accountability allows mother to gain additional skills to support herself and her child(ren) while still maintaining supportive relationships and access to assistance as needed. The level of support will continue to be scaffolded throughout their stay in the Independent Supportive Housing phase (up to 2 years) to allow for growing independence and eventual graduation from the Supportive Housing phase into independent housing in the community. The Community Health Worker will meet with mother during monthly Check-ins to ensure that the correct services are being rendered.
Level 1: Apartment Sponsorship Program
Refuge Host Homes welcomes congregations who would like to partner in a financial and relational way. Refuge will help the Partner Church to operate an Apartment Sponsorship Program for their congregation that will allow for individuals, groups, or an entire congregation to sponsor an apartment unit for $400 a month, which will supplement the monthly rent and allow the mother to afford safe housing on a limited income. The Partner Church will also be invited to participate in the care and support of the family living in the unit, including move-in/move out help, Christmas gift support, relationship building, and even assisting our Restorative Landlords with upkeep of the unit.
Level 2: Church-Owned Property
Partner Churches wishing to engage in a deeper way can do so by owning property in which mother and children can live and pay rent and develop a larger community. Congregations looking to work with Refuge in this way will need to procure a building suitable for 3-6 apartment units. A combination of one and two bedroom apartments would be ideal to accommodate mothers with multiple children. If a Partner Church does not own the property, the Partner Church will be responsible for maintaining a positive relationship with the owner of the building. Refuge Host Homes will work with Partner Churches to place Mothers who are ready to transition out of Host Homes into these apartment units. If the church would like to rent out additional apartments in the complex to non-Refuge participants, we ask that the apartments be for women only. Rent will be paid by Mother on a sliding scale according to her income, with potential subsidies based on need.
Each Independent Supportive Housing complex will need to have an RA (individual or married couple) who will either live in or within close proximity to the building to serve as additional support to mothers and children living in the complex. The Partner Church will be responsible for supplying an RA for their property. The RA will be responsible for organizing and executing regular events and shared meals to help build community between residents, as well as serve as general support in case of minor emergencies. The RA will also complete scheduled monthly inspections of apartments and ensure that all items on the Household Expectations List are being met. In addition, pop-in inspections may be instituted as deemed necessary by Executive Director. The RA can either be a volunteer or may be compensated with paid housing.