After years of offering supportive employment, we started to ask ourselves how we could offer some of the same benefits to a greater number of people. Employment allows us to bring people into a work environment that's designed to provide benefits that go beyond the work, but it limits us to only being able to help a very small amount of people. In 2020, we started to systematize the practical education we offer to our employees into a trauma therapy and mentorship program we call Residency Mindset.
The Residency Mindset Therapy Program is designed for individuals who have successfully transitioned out of the foremost stage of homelessness (meaning participants have work and housing) that want to take the next steps to build a permanently sustainable lifestyle. We see mindset and mental health as the foundations of sustainable living, especially for those who have experienced significant hardship.
The RM Program provides priority-access trauma therapy for women transitioning into permanent housing. Though we've always encouraged therapy for our program members, it has taken up to a year for our staff to gain access to a therapist in the past. Now we can connect program participants with a network of licensed third-party therapists immediately, and for an extremely affordable cost ($5 per session). Rather than acting as counselors ourselves, we're connecting participants to certified therapists in a uniquely expedient and supportive way.
"Why are therapy and mindset important to me? This is the question. Can I go back six years to when I first started working for Povertees, now Residency? As I write this, April 18, 2022 will be my six-year work anniversary and I can’t believe it’s been that long. For years, I didn’t understand how much I needed therapy and how in a way I was avoiding it. Now, I believe therapy and mindset are important for me because they make me accountable for my well-being and help me deal with the hard feelings of the past. I have Tyler and Hughie to thank for being examples.”