The New You


Today is week 1 of your shelter experience. Today in The New You, we want to focus on priorities, and becoming your own best advocate.

Before we begin with the assignment I would like you to have a binder, a calendar for your binder, plain paper, or lined paper for notes, and dividers with tabs. Then, I would like for you to write this down. These questions can be used in your everyday life experiences.

We will reflect back on the statements that follow often as we are setting our priorities for the upcoming weeks. I recommend writing them down somewhere where you will have easy access to them, as often as you will need to review them.

The Reality Therapy Loop - minus the infinity sign

1.) What do I want?2.) What am I doing to get it?3.) Is it working?4.) If not, what can I do differently?

Now, if you can:

1.) List your top 5 priorities2.) Prioritize these 5 with the most important being #1, and the least important (what can wait the longest?) as last. It might be hard to only pick 5, and to determine which is the most important, but with time and patience you can list them all, and still have good results, once you get the hang out of doing this; you will have the tools to be a great goal setter!

An example:

1.) Housing2.) Employment3.) Health care4.) Support Systems5.) Counseling6.) Transportation7.) Childcare8.) Divorce9.) Eviction10.)Credit Counseling11.) TANF eligiblity12.) No child support

Because we are in shelter, and because shelter programs are only considered limited stays, and are temporary, we will choose Housing as our first priority. There are many topics that can be just as important to us, but setting a foundation for stability which helps with becoming self sufficient will be the priority in this weeks goal.

I would like for you to let me know every housing opportunity you have made contact with up to today, and write them down. Next I would like you to let me know about that contact.

How did you hear about the opportunity? Craigs list? 211? Newspaper? A referral?

Was this contact by you made in person, via website, fax or by phone? Who did you speak to or work with? Are you aware which kind of opportunity it was? Was it permanent housing? transitional housing? A roommate situation? etc.

Go ahead and list as much as you know, and come back when you are satisfied with the information.

Now that you have them all listed, I would like you to plan on making 10 contacts this week. Whether in person, via the telephone, or any other way that you connect with them for housing opportunities. When making these connections be sure to:

1.) Learn if they are transitional, permanent, communal, etc.2.) Do they have any openings, and if not when can they see there being an opening in the program, etc. Is there a waiting list?3.) How do they prefer to receive your application? Is it in person? Via their website? What should you expect to send with your application if this is an opportunity you are interested in?4.) Would this be a good opportunity to ask your advocates for support in getting into this program? If so, which advocate would best fit this role for you?5.) Before you hang up the phone be sure that you ask them for more housing resources that they could recommend you contact.

Advocates in these programs are usually pretty knowledgeable in other opportunities in their area.

After you have answered these questions for the housing opportunity, move on to the next contact. Next week, have 20 and connect with your advocates to discuss the following:

1.) Out of the 20 contacts how many of them had something available?2.) Out of those available how many were you interested in?3.) Is there anything that would prevent you from applying and getting the ones of interest? If so, make a list of what would prevent you. Is it your credit? Immigration status?4.) Ask your advocate to brainstorm ideas with you, on how you may be able to get into this or another housing program.