The Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence is a safe and welcoming emergency housing shelter offering loving, respectful, compassionate, and non-judgmental services in order to empower residents to strive towards self-sufficiency. All family configurations including families with teenaged children and single men with children are accepted. However the majority of our families are young mothers with infants.. Many of these women have aged out of the DHS system and are now entering the shelter system as homeless adults. They enter the shelter lacking basic life skills and parenting skills, having little to no actual work experience. The majority of these young mothers have self identified as victims of traumatic childhoods; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; and neglect. In fact, seventy five percent of our residents have openly reported trauma histories.
The mental health issues, caused by trauma and the behavioral ramifications of these issues, have, in the past, had dramatic effects on the shelter community. In order to achieve the goal of creating a healing therapeutic non-violent community, in 2006 The Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence adopted the Sanctuary Model (Bloom, 1997, 2002). By implementing this model we have worked diligently to create a “trauma-sensitive” community helping residents to address unresolved past trauma, allowing necessary healing to occur, and for us to meet our mission off service.
Clean and Sober Community
The Salvation Army Red Shield Residence is a clean and sober facility. Clean and sober services are now handled jointly by the case mangers and RHD’s Connections program. Current drug an alcohol use seems to reflect that of the general population. Programs, such as Drexel’s Caring Together, combining drug and alcohol treatment with mental heath treatment, seem to be most effective with this population.
Intensive case management services have historically been an integral part of the services at The Salvation Army Red Shield. Three social workers are currently on staff. Case managers carry a caseload of approximately 14 families; both adults and children receive case management services. Research indicates that one of the most important factors contributing to success in the helping relationship is the nature of the relationship itself. Smaller case loads allow staff time to develop strong relationships with the residents they serve.
All new residents are assigned to a case manager within 24 hours of arriving at the residence. The assigned case manager then meets with the resident to complete a full assessment of the individual’s strengths and needs. Goals are established with residents focusing on steps towards self sufficiency. Our residents are connected with jobs, school, work programs and mental health, domestic violence or drug and alcohol; treatment programs.