Shelter Life – Healing Phase
Walking into shelter for the first time can be a very scary experience.
Although every survivor’s journey after fleeing abuse is unique, our shelter services are designed around three phases of shelter life — Welcoming, Healing, and Launching. This is part two of a 3-part blog series that explores common activities during each phase.
“When clients first come in, they work on immediate safety goals – getting all their documents and making sure they have everything they need to basically start a new life,” says advocate Alyssa.
“When they get to Healing, we work on long-term goals like employment, counseling, housing, legal advocacy, and setting up referrals to the community so they have support systems.”
Advocate Kristen adds, “And also the emotional aspect of processing what brought you here. After you’re safe and have time to rest, all these feelings and realizations start coming out about your past trauma and we’re here to talk about that and find outlets that work best to regain self-sufficiency.”
During the first meeting with their Healing Advocate, survivors discuss their long-term goals during the remainder of their stay at shelter such as finding a job, housing, and transportation.
Healing Advocates also talk through the survivor’s history and help them process their trauma.
“We’re listeners and keepers of their stories while we work towards safety for their families,” says Alyssa.
After the initial meeting, survivors and Healing Advocates meet at least twice a week to work towards their goals.
An important part of the Healing phase is making sure people are connected with support systems in their community like Legal Aid of the Bluegrass and the Children’s Safe Exchange and Visitation program.
Every survivor’s healing journey is different, but common goals include reaching financial independence, going back to school, working out schedules for their children, and finding a therapist.
When survivors are ready to begin their transition out of shelter, they move on to phase 3 – Launching.