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Oakland Elizabeth House is a transitional program for women with children who have experienced homelessness, violence, addiction, or poverty. We are dedicated to creating, nurturing, and maintaining a cooperative living environment of hospitality and respect in the model of the Catholic Worker tradition. We are a non-denominational program.
Elizabeth House is a transitional program for women with children who have experienced homelessness, violence, addiction or poverty. We are located in a former convent at St. Augustine Church, in the Rockridge neighborhood of North Oakland, California.
Oakland Elizabeth House starts by providing basic needs, safe and affordable housing, nutritious meals, and family support. Through our program benchmarks and the women's personal plans of action, we help the women focus on learning the necessary skills and lessons for self-sufficiency and effective parenting. The program provides stability and consistency for the family, with the time and space for each family to practice and integrate those skills and lessons so they are prepared for the transition into permanent housing.
We work with the whole family. The environment is structured and encouraging for a family to work on goals for future independent success. A family is given a key to their room and a key to the front door, a feature that makes Elizabeth House unique. A family participates and lives at Oakland Elizabeth House 12 to 18 months before moving to permanent housing.
We operate a targeted, results-oriented program to prepare the women to live healthy independent lives. Upon entry, each woman agrees to work toward meeting program benchmarks and with the Women's Life Coordinator's assistance, develops their own plan of action detailing what they need to accomplish during their time in the program. The program benchmarks and their personal action plan includes time management and organizational skills, job search skills, continued education and training, learning money management skills, addressing medical/mental health issues, learning to be a more effective parent, and communication skills including problem solving and conflict resolution. The women work closely with the Women's Life Coordinator who monitors and helps the women fulfill these expectations.
The plan, along with the cooperative living component of the program and the program benchmarks, promotes positive communication skills and life choices to support the women and their families as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. We model respect for each individual, support good physical and mental health, education, and the pursuit of employment and career goals.
We attempt to live as conscientiously as possible, towards each other and towards the earth. We minimize use of chemical cleaners and use only cloth towels and napkins. We recycle, redistribute and compost as much as possible, and eat locally grown foods as able.
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