Casie’s real change to launching a new life
The primary objective of Saint John’s Program for Real Change is to permanently reduce the number of homeless women and children in our community. With the support of their Maximus Foundation grant, they are breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness one family at a time. As such, they provide a comprehensive array of "dependence to independence" services for homeless families, all under one programmatic roof, unparalleled in the region and the State.
Recently, the County Supervisors Association of California and the League of California Cities recognized Saint John's as a best practice for homeless families after their year-long study. They pointed out that in 2016 alone, Saint John's saved taxpayers "a minimum of $13 million" in services provided to the homeless.
Casie’s story demonstrates this impact:
“I can’t believe the change in me!”
Those are the first words out of Casie’s mouth when she shares her experience at Saint John’s. After her divorce, Casie's life began to spiral. Her substance abuse disorder worsened and, then, the prospect of an income drew her to deal drugs. She walked through Saint John’s red doors in December of 2019 as part of the county jail’s re-entry program. She had nine months left on her sentence and thought, “I could sit around here and do nothing, or I could try this program I’ve heard so much about.”
The part of the program that intrigued her the most was the job training. Though she was a wife and mother for many years, she had no recent work history nor formal job training. Her last job was in 2001. As a result, Casie spent the final ten months completing her sentence and working hard to become employable.
Reflecting on her experience at Saint John’s, she tears up and expresses her gratitude for her encouragement, especially from the Client Services staff and Case Managers. Now, Casie is looking forward to what’s next for her, namely employment at UC Davis Medical Center, where she was just offered a job as a Senior Custodian. She also hopes to begin saving money and be reunited with her daughter (21) and her son (17). Most importantly, she says, “I’m just so happy that I now have a way to support myself and my children without doing something illegal.”
To learn more about Saint John’s Program for Real Change, visit their website here.