By understanding the cause, type, and response to homelessness, we are able to develop a progressional sheltering system that seeks to cultivate lasting transformation in the lives of those who are homeless. The heart of this system is the Stability for Life program that helps people discover who they are in relationship to God, to themselves, and to others while guiding them towards lasting stability and enabling them to function in society as positive, productive members.
This staircase represents the 3 stages of stability and 7 levels of personal growth that the Stability for Life Program is comprised of. Progression between each level is based on positive growth within seven critical areas of individual stability: self-concept, spirituality, relationships, personal health, work/education, addictions/dependencies, and finances.
Providing A Safe And Secure Environment
You cannot build a house in the middle of a hurricane because winds and rain will tear it down. It is only when these elements have calmed that something new will take shape. This stage is designed to remove the physical limitations/distractions that keep an individual from understanding and addressing the root causes of their own homelessness.
Staff: Lodge supervisor maintains stability of the shelter ensuring guidelines are followed by residents while providing relational direction and overseeing conflict management.
Food: We provide three meals and two snack times each day. Our pantry contains donated goods and shelter-purchased groceries to ensure a well-balanced diet is available to our residents.
Shelter: Each family unit or individual is given their own private 10' by 10' room they are responsible for maintaining. Clean bed and bedding, dressers, and necessary amenities are provided to ensure basic needs are met while staying at ICM.
Clothing: We have a donation center that organizes and provides residents with a wardrobe as needed. The donation coordinator strives to give residents items they would need or want (hundreds of items are distributed every month).
Security: We employ 24/7 staff supervision over residents and property to ensure the safety of all living in the shelter. Every resident must follow shelter guidelines. Both exterior and bedroom door locks enable multi-level security.
Community: ICM follows a family model with a shared kitchen, dining and living rooms, laundry facilities, and play areas. Although residents have their own rooms, they are part of a larger community living beside one another. Supervisors live alongside residents during their shifts.
Consistency: Resident shelter guidelines provide a consistent environment where residents can address the reasons and realities causing their current state of homelessness.
Encouraging Holistic Growth In A Relational Setting
Once the storm has calmed, then the foundation, framework, and furnishings of stability can begin to be developed. This stage includes programs and practices that promote individual discovery of a proper relationship with God, self, family, friends, and community.
Chores/Disciplines: Every resident is given chores around the shelter to cultivate work ethic, responsibility, and service to the community they are a part of.
Classes: Residents are expected to attend classes that teach life skills, finances, boundaries, emotional intelligence, conflict management, biblical ethics, responsibility, parenthood, trauma care, story/testimony writing, and more. We want to equip every resident with the necessary tools and resources to pursue stability once they move from the shelter and are living on their own.
Bible Study: Residents are expected to attend a Bible study led by staff or selected volunteers. Residents are not required to participate, but they must be present to respect the faith upon which ICM foundation and funding are built. Studies examine the proper relationship with God, self, and others.
Individual Study: Residents are assigned individual studies designed to enhance ownership and personal development in specific areas of need. Studies vary from resident to resident.
Stability Coaching: Residents work directly with a staff mentor who guides, directs, and holds accountable the progression of residents through the Stability Program. Each resident’s progression is unique and built around the strengths and weaknesses they possess.
Accountability/Assessment: The leadership team and stability coach meet with residents to address/discuss their actions and reactions and mentality while living in the shelter. Life updates and assessments occur as residents progress or regress through the program. The team needs to see residents' own desire to learn, grow, and help themselves. We believe that truth equals outcomes over time, so accountability is provided to ensure residents' assessment and reality are congruent.
Relational Volunteer Exposure: We seek to bring in a plurality of Christian volunteers to pour love into the residents' lives. The resident's response to genuine love gives insight into their own trauma and/or growth they are working through. The Body of Believers provides a plurality of people who see our residents' value as creations of God. This exposure helps cultivate trust in the hearts of each resident.
Encouraged Church Attendance: Transportation is provided to partnering churches for any resident who wants to go. The shelter closes on Sundays between 9 am - 1 pm to allow staff members to attend church, to encourage resident participation in a local congregation, and to respect the Body of Christ, which funds all operations at ICM.
Engaging What True Stability Looks Like
We highlight seven areas of life that directly impact stability. It takes guidance, time, ownership, and resources to develop these areas properly. An individual’s response to failure and success often shows the nature of the person’s stability in each area. We seek to provide assessment, discussion, and accountability as residents experience the reward of stability in each of these areas.
Relationships: Residents understand the difference between positive and negative relationships, knowing which ones they should end and which ones they should mend. They have the tools and resources to begin positively impacting relationships in their life.
Life Formation: Residents have begun the journey of becoming like Jesus Christ. Whether the individual has accepted Him as Lord or not, they recognize the goodness and truth that exists in His love.
Self-Concept: Residents are understanding and developing their own personality, boundaries, stress response, listening and learning style, work style, strengths, weaknesses, and points of growth. Their value does not rest in the opinion of others but in the reality that they have been uniquely created in the image of God.
Health: Residents understand their own physical and mental health quotas and are committed to pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Finances: Residents are working to become as financially stable as realistically capable.
Addictions: Residents recognize and understand the destructive nature of addictive substances and behaviors, and are seeking to further develop strategies to overcome any that still exist in their lives. They understand the human tendency that exists to use something or someone to numb the pains of life while ignoring the core issues that truly cause it.
Work/Education: Residents are pursuing their highest level of personal growth within work, service, and/or education to be productive members of society. Each person understands that work is an opportunity to be of service to others, valuing personal contribution over consumption.
Join us in providing a home to children, their parents, and single adults in desperate need of hope found in the arms of Christ. Your support provides a place of love where those experiencing homelessness can shed the pain and chaos of their lives and come to find the joy, peace, and stability that Jesus offers.
Inner City Mission is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. All charitable giving is subject to tax deductions.