Ways to Give
New Directions for Living has been providing transitional housing to Lake County homeless families for more than 30 years. Our goal is to teach individuals skills for self-sufficiency; it is our hope that once a client completes the 18-month program they will have acquired the skills for independent living. New Directions is unique because we accept clients who meet the government definition of “literally homeless” and clients who do not qualify for government-funded programs. Our current economic environment has caused an increase of families to lose their homes. Families have limited housing options; often times they have no choice but to “couch surf” between family and friends. New Directions for Living’s transitional housing program provides a safe and stable home; a place to re-group and a place to learn. Participants in our program work closely with licensed social workers and case managers. Weekly case management meetings are designed to help clients identify barriers that keep them from maintaining their homes. Individual Service Plans are tailored to meet each client’s unique needs and help them move forward. Although every case plan is different, each plan has one common goal – independent housing. Clients are taught to budget and are required to save money in a savings account. Clients who save according to their budget plan leave the program with a “nest egg” with sufficient income to move on to their permanent home. By using their own savings to establish housing, our clients are empowered to choose where they want to live. In 2013, ten clients exited the program and seven have achieved and maintained independent housing, thus achieving a 70% success rate.
New Directions for Living provides the only Transitional Housing services in Lake County, Ohio that assists homeless individuals and families to support themselves without government assistance upon graduating from its program. This is achieved through the following services and program requirements:
• Affordable housing including full paid utilities
• Assistance in achieving financial and personal goals
• Weekly progress review meetings with NDFL case managers
• Assistance in securing and maintaining employment
• Assistance in obtaining appropriate education and skill training
• Mentoring program through NDFL volunteer mothers and fathers
What distinguishes NDFL from other transitional housing programs is how clients are accepted into the program. It is not based upon their seniority on a waiting list, but rather upon an assessment of their readiness for self-sufficiency growth. Each potential client is evaluated based on the activities they have undertaken which can demonstrate their commitment towards self-sufficiency.
With the recently completed renovations of our newest 7 suite facility and accelerated transitional home, we have increased our capacity to 17 units which can house a maximum of 35 individuals or 12 families. NDFL provides 15 fully furnished transitional housing units and 2 accelerated transitional living homes.