The Stockton Shelter for the Homeless (SSH) has a mission to address the needs of homeless individuals and families by providing safe shelter, basic necessities, and a structured opportunity to regain self-sufficiency. SSH, by February, will also be adding a new navigation center. This center will essentially be a “one-stop-shop” where the homeless will receive assigned case managers, streamlined social services, and housing navigation while living at the facility. It will ensure that when the clients leave the shelter they will be set with permanent housing and a fixed income.
The new Navigation Center will add 180 more beds.
The Holman House is a house in a neighborhood in Stockton that was converted to have ten rooms with the purpose of housing individuals who have HIV or AIDS. The clients who live there are referrals given to SSH by Public Health. Frank, the house manager, then completes the intake process on them. The clients who live here are on a temporary housing contract for 18 months and that time period can be extended, depending on how far along the resident is on finding a job and permanent housing. These clients are also required to be drug tested in order to live in the HOPWA House. This living situation is strictly just housing, and does not include a caseworker.
There are 5 HOPWA Condos and the Greenfield House that provide temporary housing opportunities for families where the parents have HIV or AIDS. This is a program run through HOPWA where they give us referrals through Public Health. Frank, the house manager, completes the intake process on these families and ensures that the contract is followed. These clients are required to drug test and be screened. This living situation is strictly just housing and is meant to help families struggling with HIV or AIDS get back on their feet.
SSH provides shelter, safety, and a place for families to get back on their feet. Once the intake process happens, clients are assigned a case manager to help them find any resources that they need, find steady income, find permanent housing, and learn how to budget and save money. Once they arrive, they are also put on a point system. In order to help instill responsibility in the clients, the clients start off with 1,000 points. These points can be taken away if they do not complete their assigned chores and once they no longer have any points they can be kicked out of the shelter. In addition, the clients have access to donated snacks, plates, bowls, silverware, and canned food. Clients can also use the shelter refrigerator to store food, a microwave, laundry, and a hotbox in order to rid their sheets and clothes of bugs when they arrive. Furthermore, SSH provides a kid’s camp in the summers on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am-3pm. At the summer camp kids can play in the water, do arts and crafts, watch movies, eat, and hang out.
The Women’s Low Barrier Shelter provides a place where women can find safety from the streets and get connected to help. Ninety-eight percent of the women who stay here are either mentally or physically disabled. Therefore, not only does the facility provide shelter, the programs offered through the shelter include connecting the women to mental health services. Outreach Behavioral Services in Stockton, through Dennis Buettner, will come to the shelter to evaluate the ladies in order to get them on medication to help with their problems. In addition, the shelter will link the women with a case manager. The case managers sign them up for social security, help the ladies find a fixed income, teach them how to manage and save money, and help the women find permanent housing. The shelter also works towards connecting them with Shelter Plus, a program that pays the rent for physically or mentally disabled people who have some sort of fixed income, and Progress Housing, a program that pays for housing for people who do not have income but are working towards finding a job.
The Men’s Shelter works with the Men’s Drop-in center to help provide a place for these men to feel safe and a place where they can receive help to get into permanent housing. The Men’s Shelter not only offers shelter to clients, but offers rehab programs for drugs and alcohol, and mental illness help through partnerships with the Salvation Army and New Directions. Many times the shelter will get in touch with one of these rehab groups and will hold clients who need to wait a couple days to get drug tested so that they are ready for rehab programs. The Men’s Shelter also connects clients to case managers. Case managers help with finding apartments, advise clients on how to prevent evictions, help clients find jobs in order to secure a steady income, and teach clients on the importance of money management and how to save money.
The Veterans’ Shelter is a place that gives veterans a place to stay and a place where they can get connected to resources to get back on their feet. The shelter partners with the Stockton VA Health Clinic to provide mental health services, physicals, dental work, and substance abuse treatment to the veteran clients. In addition, the shelter works with the Homeless Corporation (Veteran Housing Services) to help secure permanent housing for the homeless veterans. The shelter staff also works with the clients with their finances. This includes budgeting and saving money. Furthermore, the staff helps the clients with anything having to do with evictions and talking to landlords to make sure the clients have secure housing.
The Men’s Drop-in Center is the first step in the process of getting placed in the Men’s Shelter. It is about a fifteen minute process where the potential client has a conversation with Ralph where he asks them questions on the required paperwork. Some of the questions he asks include, asking where they come from, how far their nearest relative is, what medical/mental issues they have, and what they want to get out of the shelter. After this conversation, Ralph brings the new clients to a caseworker where they begin to work toward their most important goal whether that be finding permanent housing or a job. The Drop-in Center also sells coffee, soda, and water.