“Every Human Being Has Value”.
Karen came to Starting Over frightened, desperate, and homeless. Department of Children and Family Services had taken her daughter away because Karen had a drug problem and was homeless. Her bridges were burned and she had nowhere to go. Karen entered Starting Over’s Transitional Housing and reentry program with nothing to lose. Starting Over provided her with a structured clean and safe home environment and assessed her needs to see what other resources and services were needed. Starting Over provided Wellness, Recovery, and Prevention sessions, pre-employment education, career assessment, and other reentry services. Karens' daughter Kara is in her custody now; she is an inquisitive and bright little girl with a wonderful future ahead. Karen is now an active parent, a PTA secretary; she works for Kaiser Permanente; and she is one of Starting Over's most loyal volunteers. Three years later, Karen remains a positive story, but only one amongst hundreds.
Starting Over helps some of the county's most vulnerable populations by addressing homelessness, recidivism, and reentry. Starting Over helps homeless men, women and children transition from homelessness, and the often associated cycles of poverty, drug abuse, mental illness, and recidivism. Through education, empowerment, peer support, and civic engagement, Starting Over has helped over 7,000 men, women, and families since it started. 79% of the people who have gone through Starting Over's transitional program remain housed 1 year after exiting the program.
When we met Maggie, she had just completed treatment for a drug addiction that began when she suffered a back injury and was placed on pain medication. Maggie had been prescribed back pain medication and within 2 years she found herself quite disabled, addicted, unemployed, and homeless. Her children had been placed in foster care as a reult of her condition. She completed treatment, and with no where else to go, she entered our transitional living program, and began to work towards getting her life back. She continued her program of recovery, went back to school, graduated to become a dental assistant and worked to be reunited with her family. Today 4 years later, Maggie is one of many active Starting Over, Alumni. She remains an active member in her community, a mother, an employee, and a mentor to others that are faced with overcoming homelessness and the conditions often associated with homelessness.
Transitioning isn't easy, but it happens everyday, and we get to see it. Some of the services we provide in addition to transitional housing are:
We know what's needed because many of us have experienced homelessness ourselves. We have learned that there is a way out.
"To whom much is given, much is expected."
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