Dumas Wesley Community Center’s Transitional Housing Program, Sybil Smith Family Village, (SSFV) was founded in 1999 to fill a void in housing services for women and families experiencing homelessness. To date, the program has served 2,422 individuals from Southwest and Central Alabama, coastal Mississippi, and North Florida. SSFV enjoys a remarkable average success rate of 88% among residents who exited the program successfully and transitioned into permanent housing. This figure is 45% higher than the national average, according to the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a data collection service which measures housing services and outcomes nationwide.
Sybil Smith Family Village credits its success rate to the program’s focus on accountability, individualized
case management, life skills and behavior modification. In the last six years, 0% of SSFV graduates returned to homelessness, within 2 years of program completion, compared to the national recidivism rate of 19%.
SSFV seeks to help homeless single women and homeless women with children establish and maintain self-sufficiency. SSFV is a 17-unit facility that provides 24 months of housing for up to 61 individuals.
Major program goals are:
- To meet the immediate need for stable housing so that residents are free to work on becoming self-sufficient,
- Help residents obtain job skills and educational skills so they can financially support themselves,
- Help overcome other critical obstacles such as lack of affordable childcare so they may work outside the home,
- Help individuals and mothers with children recover from and avoid the trauma which homelessness and economic instability causes to their health, self-esteem and emotional development, and
- Help secure and retain permanent housing when they complete the Family Village program.
Basic eligibility criteria for admission into Sybil Smith Family Village are:
- Must be at least 24 years old,
- Must be homeless or fleeing domestic violence (PFA must be obtained upon entry),
- Must be able to work and/or attend school (volunteer hours do not count),
- Must be drug and alcohol-free,
- Must be willing to live in a drug/alcohol-free environment (and take random drug tests), and
- Must be willing to participate in a case management plan.
Each resident is assessed at the time of entry into the program and a detailed case management plan is formulated. Last year, residents were referred to 29 different United Way agencies. Each adult resident meets at least once weekly with the case manager to review goals and achievements. Mandatory life skills classes are provided in employment readiness and retention, parenting, budgeting, relationship skills, health issues and other skills necessary to live independently.
Please contact Sybil Smith Family Village at 251-473-5526 for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures.
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Make an online donation to support Sybil Smith Family Village
In order to support our programs and services, Sybil Smith Family Village relies heavily on donations from individuals, churches, companies, and foundations. We’re grateful to you for giving your time to help us meet the critical needs of our residents at the Village. All donations are tax deductible. For more information on how you can get involved please contact 251-473-5526 or download the wish list below.