The YWCA Cambridge Family Shelter provides housing for 10 homeless families from diverse ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds. Currently, adult family members range from 20 – 60 years of age, while their children range from infancy to 5 years old. The goal of the Family Shelter program is to provide a safe, normalizing environment for families who have experienced the physical and emotional trauma of homelessness.
Staff at the Family Shelter strive to provide continuous, daily support to the residents by assisting them in setting and achieving their individual personal goals, such as: completing school, applying for and securing jobs, attending training programs, and overcoming substance abuse issues. In collaboration with other human service providers, Family Shelter staff conduct workshops for the residents on budgeting, parenting, safety, health issues, domestic violence, and other lifeskills topics. The residents also receive health care services through weekly visits from a Nurse Liaison from the Cambridge Health Alliance.
Each family is referred to the Family Shelter through the state Department of Housing & Community Development, and their length of stay varies. YWCA Cambridge Family Shelter staff assist all the residents to secure housing. After the families are housed, staff provide up to18 months of stabilization support.