At EGH, our vision is that “Homeless and at-risk women have the power to transform their lives.” We see our clients as the experts in their own lives and we believe in supporting their right to self-determination. Each day, I meet with women to learn about their needs and to help them find resources that help move them toward their goals.
I’ve met with some women who were very quickly ready to move into transitional housing. With other women, I’ve worked to help them find job placements. These are the success stories that we so often highlight.
But for many of our clients, success is not immediate housing or employment. For some, success may mean just getting through the day, finding a place to sleep, a hot meal, and a phone to use. When you’ve been living a fairly isolated life, it can be difficult to navigate systems that require you to interface with others in order to meet your most basic needs. But the women we serve do learn to navigate these systems successfully, and these successes – sometimes more difficult to measure – are the building blocks to a transformed life.
Many of our clients have suffered the impacts of substance use disorders, domestic violence, and/or mental health concerns. Some have been unhoused for a number of years and are continuously living in survival mode. Most have experienced the trauma of living unhoused and are in need of support that extends beyond basic shelter. EGH sees our clients though a trauma-informed lens and recognizes that healing takes time. There isn’t always an immediate path out of homelessness, so EGH’s role for these women is to be a place where they can rest and be safe while identifying next steps. We prioritize knowing our clients as individuals because at EGH we believe that relationship building is essential to good service delivery.
EGH Program Manager, Michelle Wick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, is a licensed Substance Use Disorder Professional and is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Social Work.