Helping People Help Themselves

A Brief History of the Dignity Center

http://vimeo.com/17351626

The Dignity Center opened in the spring of 2002 as a drop-in center to provide a respite for homeless people to get out of the cold and to have something to eat. In 2003 volunteers were recruited to interview clients about their immediate needs and to provide resources to meet those needs. In 2008 the Dignity Center changed its mission to support homeless and impoverished people to set goals and take steps to regain stability. The Dignity Center encourages clients to meet with one advocate and develop an ongoing supportive relationship. This working relationship ensures accountability and gives clients hope and encouragement as they regain confidence and self-motivation.

The Key is relationships:
Each client works with a trained advocate in an on-going relationship, ensuring accountability while offering hope and encouragement along the way to stability.

The Key is goal setting and referrals:
Advocates help clients set goals and steps in one or more of the 9 key focus areas.  Advocates make referrals for clients to received housing, job counseling and training, education, medical and psychological care, substance abuse treatment and legal help.

The Key is Resources:
We provide resources to support referrals, such as busTransportation, organizational tools, clothing vouchers and food, prescription co-pays and financial assistance to resolve a specific financial need.

The Key is specific supportive services:

  • VLN Legal Clinic:  The Dignity Center hosts a Volunteer Lawyer Clinic Monday, Wednesday and Friday morningings 9:00am-11:30AM, which is available to cleints working with a Dignity Center Advocate.
  • Money Management Basics:  Dignity Center clients may meet with a specialist in budgeting and stretching money. This advocate helps resolving debts and improve credit.
  • Housing Specialist:  Dignity Center clients may meet with a housing specialist for help finding appropriate, afforadable housing.
  • Abundant Life Group:  Clients well along in their stabilization process may be invited to particpate in a weekly group lasting 6 months to gain self-awareness.
  • Job Seekers Support GroupClients looking for work or those with new jobs may be invited to meet weekly to discuss the trials and frustrations of looking for and keeping a job.