The Anacortes Family Center has a unique program aimed at providing far more than just shelter. Our goal is to provide clients with the tools necessary to lead self-sufficient, successful lives after enduring homelessness and trauma. Our program provides shelter for 60 days, during which clients receive intensive wrap-around services, life skills education, housing and employment assistance, and parenting assistance.
Our unique approach has led to our distinction of being one of the most successful shelters in the State - and we double the community average for successful placement in stable, permanent housing with a means in which to support the household. 83% of our clients in 2014 graduated from our program successfully!
Clients are selected based on three criteria: immediacy of need, families with children and local (Anacortes/Skagit County) residents are given priority. Upon entering our program residents receive:
- Case Management: Clients meet 1-3 times per week with our Case Manager and identify barriers to success, short- and long-term goals, develop a household budget, and every resident is required to keep track of income and expenses and time management on a daily basis.
- Housing & Employment Assistance: Within two weeks of entering our program residents are required to find full-time employment, a full-time volunteer opportunity, or a combination of the two. We provide assistance with resume writing, mock interviewing, professional clothing, childcare assistance, transportation coordination and job coaching.
- Life Skills Education: Clients are required to take part in a weekly life skills course. Curriculum is determined based on the group's need, but often includes: Budgeting, parenting after trauma, healthy and economic cooking, credit repair, personal protection, co-dependency, etc.
- Children's Services: Children are also required to take part in a weekly life-skills course. The course is designed to end the generational cycle of poverty, drug use and family violence. Kids learn about bullying, appropriate touching, processing feelings, developing leadership and we also provide music and art therapy.
- Counseling: The AFC received a grant to provide up to five visits with a professional mental health therapist. We have two local therapists, one for adults and another for children.
The Anacortes Family Center has a three-pronged mission:
Provide shelter for single women and families with children who seek emergency shelter due to crisis conditions in their lives.
Bring together the efforts of churches, government, civic organizations and individuals in providing emergency shelter for women and homeless families in Anacortes.
Create an alliance with the area's network of social service agencies so we can assist and support our clients in finding a path to self-sufficiency and a permanent end to their homelessness.