The Bishop, staff, board members, and generous supporters of Catholic Charities celebrate renovation work completed on the new St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences in Woodbridge.
St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences serves homeless families with the time and support they need to reestablish independence after they have exited an emergency shelter. Participating families are provided with low-income housing and varying levels of assistance during the precarious twelve to twenty-four months following their departure from an emergency shelter. St. Margarert of Cortona staff and volunteers offer a wealth of Life Skills and Financial Literacy classes, employment training, and personal case management to residents. Participants recognize their worth and strengths in private apartments allowing them to move toward self sufficiency in an environment that values their dignity.
Applicants must demonstrate that they are:
- Must be residing at a shelter or safe house
- Must be a family consisting of one parent with children or both (wed) parents with children.
- Must have proof of bank account or the ability to bank.
- Must undergo a Background Check and be clear of any sexual or violent crimes.
- Must have or be willing to get a General Education Degree (GED).
- Must work a full time job (40 hours per week) and be able to show a proof of employment (i.e. pay stub)
- Must be clear of any substance abuse or in counseling to eliminate it.
Simply put, no. Transitional housing is not a traditional shelter. Some think of transitional housing as the intermediate step between a shelter (designed to provide housing in a time of crisis) and independent housing.
Emergency shelters are designed to provide short-term shelter to individuals during times of crisis resulting in homelessness. The homelessness is usually related to multiple events causing many of the “threads” of the individual’s “safety net” to break due to such factors as financial hardship, job loss, isolation from friends and family, unexpected medical costs or problems, foreclosure or eviction, debt, addiction, and mental illness. Many individuals start to resolve their crisis and begin to move toward independence but are still not poised for success as they may lack savings or wages that allow them to secure adequate housing, food, and clothing.
Transitional housing provides families with the time and long-term support they need to move toward independently securing their basic needs. Residents of transitional housing programs pay an affordable rent based on their income and enjoy the security and dignity of more private housing. Case managers provide one-on-one and group counseling regarding budgeting, interpersonal relations, parenting, employment skills, nutrition, and available social programs and services. Transitional housing provides a link that many families find missing when attempting to establish or re-establish self-sufficiency after a period of homelessness. At St. Margaret of Cortona’s Transitional Residences, families pay 30% of their income in rent, agree to abide by program policies, and participate in training, classes, and individualized case management. Thirty (30%) percent of a participant’s rent is held in escrow and returned upon successful completion of the program to ease the final transition to an independently obtained and maintained home.
Families come to the transitional housing program from emergency shelters with very few possessions. If you can provide a homeless family with any of the following items, please contact Paula Hummel at 703-910-4845.
- Gas and grocery gift cards (Shell, Food Lion, Walmart, Target)
- Diaper wipes
- New bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths
- Personal hygiene products (soap, shampoo, shaving cream, razors, cotton swabs, toilet paper, tissues, etc.)
- Pots, pans, bakeware, mixing bowls, utensils, cups and glasses
- Lamps, light bulbs, and nightlights
- Pots, pans, dishes, bakeware, utensils, cups and glasses, “sippy cups,” and children’s utensils
- Household cleaning supplies including dish soap, dishwasher detergent, paper towels, glass cleaner, kitchen cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, Clorox wipes, garbage bags, sponges, and scrub brushes
Interested in helping Catholic Charities help families during this time of transition? Volunteers are needed and many opportunities are available. Volunteer today!