Vincent House Transitional Shelter for homeless families with children is the second step in a continuum of care designed to move families from homelessness to permanent housing and employment. Homeless families are referred to the program from emergency shelters including the Interfaith Hospitality Network and the YWCA Shelter for Victims of Violence. First Call for Help, Easter Seals/ARC, Healthy Families, the Rescue Mission, hospitals, churches and other social service organizations also refer homeless families with children to Vincent House Transitional Shelter. Vincent House is the only transitional shelter in Allen County serving two-parent families and single-male headed families without requiring the families to split up in order to access transitional shelter. There are no restrictions on family size or type or ages of children. Acceptance into the program is dependent on available space.
The Vincent House Transitional Shelter program moves families to higher levels of self-sufficiency through intensive, individualized case management. The shelter serves an average of 35 families each year in a group home setting. Essential program elements include:
- Basic Needs – food, shelter and clothing to establish a safe and stable environment to begin working toward self-sufficiency;
- Life Skills – including but not limited to budgeting, parenting, household management, family health and nutrition, cooking, shopping, time management, and personal hygiene;
- Education/Employment – GED, vocational training, college, basic employment skills, employment training, resume writing, job search, dressing for success and interview skills;
- Case Management – Intake and assessment, individualized Action Plan for Self-Sufficiency, goal setting and monitoring, advocacy, referrals; and
- Supportive Services – Childcare, transportation, substance abuse/mental health services, counseling, health care.
Vincent Village provides affordable rental housingfor families successfully completing the Vincent House Transitional Shelter program. Vincent Village currently consists of 30 completely renovated and furnished single-family houses and one duplex in the neighborhood surrounding Vincent House. Families continue to receive supportive services and case management to increase their self-sufficiency skills while living in Vincent Village.
The Pathways to Success Program provides housing search, initial moving expenses and continued case management for 12 to 15 families for 6 months following the successful completion of the Vincent House Transitional Shelter Program or other transitional shelter programs. The primary goal of this program is to prevent recurring homelessness and to encourage continued self-sufficiency. The Pathways to Success Program is a collaborative project between the Fort Wayne Housing Authority and Vincent House. In some cases, the Housing Authority can provide rent subsidies for homeless families participating in Pathways to Success.
The Vincent Village Youth Services Program serves approximately 150 homeless children from Vincent House, Vincent Villageand the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau Transitions Program each year. Youth programs are vital to the success of Vincent House because seventy percent of Vincent House residents are children. Nationally, homeless children are more than three times as likely to manifest developmental delays as low-income housed children are. More than seventy-five percent of homeless children perform below grade level in reading and spelling and more than half perform below grade level in math. The Vincent Village Youth Services Program focuses on closing the gaps between homeless children and non-homeless children by providing educational, recreational and enrichment activities, and referrals and coordination of services for special-needs children.
Vincent House, the USDA, and the State of Indiana are equal opportunity providers and employers.