Community Impact

WHEN FAMILIES ARE ABLE TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES – OUR COMMUNITY IS STRONGER!

 

You might think we don’t have any homeless population in our community, but you’d be surprised to know just how many are actually out there.  Many homeless are staying with friends or relatives, making them much less visible.

As a matter of fact, most of the single mothers that come to us, seeking our help, are “couch surfing” from one home to another.  Often not knowing where her and her child(ren) will be sleeping that very night.

As you can imagine, homelessness disrupts virtually every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of the family members.  The impact of homelessness has a profound effect on children and their development.  Many experience anger, self-blame, sadness, fear, low self-esteem and hopelessness. For mothers the experience is often just another major stressor amidst an already complicated traumatic history.

 

To complicate matters even more, many of these homeless mothers are pregnant as well. 

Pregnant, homeless mothers are the most vulnerable for sure.  Their dire situation of homelessness can cause them to feel that they have no other option but to abort the child they are carrying.  Even though they may not WANT to – they feel they HAVE to.  This is not acceptable!

 

No mother should ever have to have an abortion because she is poor!

This is where St. Raymond’s Society enters the picture.  We instantly change their situation by bringing them into St. Ray’s House.  We meet these mothers, pregnant or newly parenting, right where they are and begin working with what they can bring to the table – which usually, is not much!

The foundation of our innovative program is Life Coaching.  We have found this approach to be the quickest way to build trust and transparency between people.  As well as to alter an individual’s way of thinking, way of acting, and way of being – so that they can make changes that are truly transformational.

From the very first meeting, our Life Coaches will start cultivating empowering, trusting relationships with these mothers.  Something they may have never experienced before, but is essential to building their self-esteem and confidence – that will be required in order to make the tremendous life changes needed to reach self-sufficiency.

 

Because we know that families can live a completely different life through the power of education and job training – the first steps of our program involve creating a personalized plan for gaining more education and job training, personal finance and budgeting knowledge and skills, and a reliable vehicle.

Years of experience has proven that when a person is surrounded with support and encouragement, has acquired relevant knowledge and skills, and has access to the right tools, resources and opportunities –  the result is self-sufficiency.

When families are able to support themselves our community is stronger!

 

We all know that the root cause of homelessness is poverty.  Single mother families are among the poorest in the nation and as such, are extremely vulnerable to homelessness.  And although each person has a unique story – most are just one financial setback away from spiraling out of control and falling into homelessness.

According to the MIT Living Wage Standard, a Missouri family of one adult and one child needs $48,781 annually without public or private assistance to be considered self-sufficient.  And a Missouri family of one adult and two children needs $56,084 annual income.

Considering that the national median annual income for full time employment for a single mother is only $35,400 – the gap between “homelessness” and “self-sufficiency” is quite W I D E.

 

This is where St. Raymond’s steps in and gives a “hand up” rather than a “hand out”.  We help stabilize these families, at-risk of homelessness, by standing in the GAP – assisting with immediate needs such as food, transportation, childcare, medical or housing costs.

These mothers then enroll in our program and begin their journey to economic self-sufficiency – to create a different brighter future for themselves and their children than they may have otherwise had.

Whether the mothers were homeless or at-risk of homelessness, the end result is the same . . . they will use the education, skills, resources, and knowledge gained while in the program to maintain employment and family stability and lead successful lives; thereby strengthening our communities, because . . .

When families are able to support themselves our community is stronger!

Today, our program is offered in four locations to more than 50 families concurrently.  Every day, St. Raymond’s Society breaks new ground with single mother families, who are not only charting new paths, but leading their children to a brighter future.

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how we have helped

These people genuinely care about the women and their children, and all they want to do is see you thrive. It’s not just a place to sleep every night.

Alex

It has been the most amazing experience to see the women grow and step into themselves!

Professional Counselor

Living at St. Ray’s House was a profound experience for me.  I learned so much while living there!  My biggest take away was probably in the life skills department, especially time management and self-discipline.  The thing I like best about St. Ray’s is that I will always be a part of the St. Raymond’s Society.  I still meet with my Success Coaches every week and my Accountability Partner every month.  The kids and I are invited to all of the St. Ray’s outings, celebrations and events.  The only difference is that I have my own house now so sometimes we meet here.

Janey

God has truly blessed our community with the addition of St. Raymond’s Society.  As the executive director of Pregnancy Resource Center for more than 12 years, I know all too well of the plight of a single mothers, much less those who finds themselves homeless.  It is with great confidence that we refer these mothers to St. Raymond’s Society.  Not only will they be welcomed with open arms and given a place to stay, these mothers are put on a path to self-sufficiency.

Executive Director, Pregnancy Resource Center