Homelessness is an issue throughout every community and reaches far beyond the boundaries of socioeconomics, stereotypes, and faith. Over the past years we have seen how the need for help transcends into every crevice of society. The Union Mission offers refuge, hope, and opportunities to those who truly need help to begin putting the broken pieces of their life back in order.
The Union Mission provides for the overall treatment of the individual through a structured program that includes supportive services such as counseling, case management, life skills training, spiritual development, and education. The environment of the Mission fosters character development, morality, and bonds of friendship and family. Through these mechanisms, we are able to provide a "stepping stone" to the men of the Mission to help them reach their goals and return as productive, respectful members of the community.
EMERGENCY MEN'S SHELTER PROGRAM
As the only shelter for men in all of Westmoreland County, the Union Mission recognizes the significant role it plays as both an intermediary in time of crises and as a solution for men who find themselves without shelter. Our main goal is to help our men transition through this difficult period of time while maintaining the dignity and respect they deserve.
In order to provide intervention at the time of homelessness, the Mission maintains 4 Emergency Beds. These beds are dedicated to being available at the onset of homelessness so that we can establish a continuum of care for them as they wait to transition to a Program Bed. While the stays in this program are generally 5 days or less, we are experts in helping connect the men to resources, developing contingency plans, and maintaining housing/care for them during this waiting period.
Our 10 Program Beds afford up to 4 months of supportive, goal-driven housing. In this sense, the Union Mission breaks the barriers associated with traditional shelters. Our program takes a systematic, research-based approach toward working with our men with proven results. The Union Mission only has a recidivism rate (return to homelessness) of 7.8% compared to the national average of 44%. During the course of their stay our residents are encouraged and motivated to address the systemic issues impacting their ability to maintain a stable, self sufficient lifestyle, while simultaneously helping them develop interdependent relationships in the community. Our goal is to help our men establish the necessary supporting and bridging capital during their residency so that they are more prepared to successfully transition. Our tiered approach challenges our residents to aspire toward their personal goals. Through scaffolding processes and individual approaches our dedicated staff is able to maneuver within this culturally diverse population and afford the most meaningful and impactful direction.
PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM
Within our community and the men we serve there are pervasive issues which impact s person's ability to maintain stable housing and self-sufficiency. Left unaddressed these issues lend themselves to chronic homelessness. In an effort to meet these unique needs, the Union Mission operates a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program consisting of 6 apartments. This stable, supportive housing environment not only allows the time necessary for our clients to seek the treatment and assistance needed but also affords them an opportunity to hone their new skills, coping strategies, and self-management techniques. While there is no limit on residency length in this program, we coordinate with the tenants to establish a time-line for accomplishment of goals, personal growth, and, when appropriate, transition to traditional housing environments.