What We Do
Our focus is on mothers with young children who are ready to commit to our comprehensive program designed to promote healing, independence and a pathway to the fulfillment of their dreams. Our services are comprised of a ten month program that offers the following components to create a holistic environment for healing.
Transitional Housing / Resident Apartments
Each family at the Good Shepherd Shelter resides in one of our 14 individual apartment units. All units are fully furnished and families have the option of residing there for up to ten months.
Case managers work with the mothers to create an action plan for their shelter stay. They help the mothers to set both short term and long term goals and they assist them in achieving those goals. They provide linkages and referrals to outside social, legal, medical and financial services.
Our therapeutic program for families includes individual and group therapy that seeks to repair the emotional and psychological damage caused by domestic violence. A safe environment is created in which each child and mother is able to freely express his or her feelings, learn healthy coping skills and develop communication strategies to process and rebuild new lives free from violence.
The Good Shepherd Elementary School is an on-site school that offers common-core curriculum. Teachers are able to meet the special needs of each child, while providing transferable credits for K-5 enrichment growth. The children are able to learn in smaller groups and at their own pace. Because of the trauma most of the children have experienced, many are below grade level and often have emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties. Through individualized attention and trauma-informed activities that address their needs, the children can rebuild their self-esteem and have a positive school experience.
Adult Learning Center
Mothers attend classes in family health and nutrition, parenting, first aid, self-defense, yoga and stress management. We also provide money management, computer training and job acquisition skills. Some mothers receive tutoring to meet a special need or goal, such as obtaining a GED. With the support of our staff, the mothers can establish their own goals for their families and create an atmosphere of security and growth.
Through the generosity of individual attorneys and firms, pro bono legal assistance referrals are provided to ensure the safety and legal rights of the mothers and children. Staff will assist and accompany the mothers to court or other court-related appointments in order to offer support.
- Child Watch supports families with onsite child care for their children ages 0-4 while mothers attend varies appointments or classes such as therapy sessions or court appointments.
- Child Watch honors that play is a vital tool for learning.
- Child Watch supports purposeful and creative play experiences that help children grow in all areas such as social development, emotional development, cognitive development, physical development and language development.
- Daily activities are modified to meet the needs and interest of each individual child.
- Child Watch offers a safe, nurturing environment for children while they are away from their mothers.
- Child Watch staff assists children to manage their emotions independently or with help of a caregiver.
- Child Watch offers a safe place for the children to express various types of emotions.
- The children are given individualized attention and trauma informed activities to support/ address their needs.
Sister Barbara offers spiritual support to any of the mothers, children or staff members who seek it. She offers support to both the families and the staff in the following ways:
- Reflection: An opportunity for the Moms who choose to attend, spiritual reading, quiet time and sharing. Held Monday to Friday for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Mission Effectiveness: Monthly all-staff sessions focused on Good Shepherd Mission and Spirit; Core Values; Team and Community Building, Spirituality.
- Personal Spiritual Ministry as requested.
When families are ready to relocate to the larger community, they are encouraged to establish a support system in their new location. No matter where a Good Shepherd Shelter family may live, the staff are always ready to offer assistance in any way possible to help families make a successful transition. We provide community-building events and holiday events at the shelter for former families that offer In-Kind donations and other resources to continue to support the families.
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Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public benefit corporation accredited by the Council on Accreditation.