The Shepherd's Lighthouse

5930 SE Robinson Rd
Belleview, FL 34420

352-347-6575 Visit Website
Class of Housing/Services: Transitional housing for homeless mothers and children.

General Information:
Transitional housing for homeless mothers and children.   Placement Criteria The client will need to be a single mother over 21 years old with children infant to nine years old. The client cannot be in a domestic violence crisis The client cannot be in a substance abuse crisis What do we offer our clients? A private room for them and their children to stay in for up to 6 months Large kitchen where they can prepare their family meals and storage space to keep their food. Safe play areas for their children to enjoy play time. Computer access for them to use to apply for employment and stay connected with employers. Individual life goal plan designed only for them so that they can become successful in all avenues of their life. Life Coach Counselor to do an assessment that will help them set goals and help them make the right decisions to move them forward in their life. Basic life skill classes these include but not limited to parenting, budgeting, discipline, child development, decision making, and relationship. Each class will be designed to their individual needs. We provide transportation for them and their child to work, daycare, Dr. Appointments, store or any other appointment that will advance them in a positive direction. If they are working a DCF case plan we will provide a Life Coach to go with them to court appointments and will work directly with their case worker to complete their plan. To better serve our clients we have to ask that they respect our timelines. We start our day at 6:00 am so that all children can be transported to childcare and residents can be transported to work. We ask that due to everyone getting a chance to use the kitchen for food preparation we ask that our clients be on campus at 6:30 pm. Children need to be fed, bathed and ready for bed by 8:00pm. This will give the mothers some mommy time to focus on their goal list and down time. Due to living in a residential area we respect our neighbors and ask that everyone be in bed and lights out by 10:00pm. For safety of their children and other children at the facility we do not allow visitors in our client's rooms, no using of drugs other than prescription medication, no use of alcohol, no weapons are allowed in your possession, and we ask that all family and friends provide a picture ID when on campus. We ask that if our clients are corresponding with others in jail that they use another address.  We do not allow cell phones in the resident area due to taking pictures of others and recording of others without their permission. We live in the world of social media and not everyone wants their picture of their children blasted on such sites. They can keep them in the office and they will be allowed to check messages during the day. Other social services we provide to our community and south Marion County Shepherd's LightHouse is much more that housing for homeless mothers and children. We help families and individuals to fill out access Florida applications. This enables them to receive government funding and food stamps. We are certified in SSI and SSDI application process and have helped people receive these funds. The SSDI and SSI application involve a long application process and collecting of documentation from other sources. It takes many hours to follow up on this application due to being available to the caseworkers that are working on the case. We can refer clients to Early Learning Coalition for reduced childcare cost. When we refer clients for reduced childcare cost they have to follow up with us monthly and we have to report any changes in their income status. Supportive housing was and is a great need in the South end of the county. We were given the opportunity to provide this service through a grant from the county. We were able to remodel and create such housing behind Aunt Fannie's restaurant in Belleview. We manage these 6 one bedroom 1 bath supportive housing units and they are an asset to the neighborhood. Theses apartments allow families to pay reduced rent payments while working on increasing their income to move into permanent housing. While the families live there we are able to provide case management that connects them to services. Our Thrift store not only provides us with regular income it provides volunteer opportunities for the community. We have volunteer hours available for individuals and for groups. The store also provides a means for our clients to learn skills such as customer service, displaying and cashiering. This also gives our clients a work history. Our store is competitive in the pricing so that needy families are able to purchase things at a reasonable cost. Our store generates opportunities for us to receive in kind donations that we can sale, reuse and recycle. The store is an asset that keeps us connected with the community and an avenue to reach other families in need. We offer service hours to Career Resource Center clients these clients are people that need to do community service hours to continue to receive cash assistance. These clients also are able to do job searches and get retail experience. Experience Works clients are clients that are 55 and older that have to do community service hours so that they can keep receiving their subsides income. These workers bring knowledge and ideas to us and others. The volunteers and community service workers save us $31,700.00 in kind money by doing these services. We also save $4000.00 to $6000.00 on yard work and maintenance that is done by groups with service projects. By getting these groups doing these in kind services we are able to keep our yearly budget low. During back to school we are able to help 30 children receive school supplies. We help our clients provide the teachers with supplies for the class rooms. We work closely with the caseworkers and guidance counselors to provide any homeless child with things that they may need during the year. In December we help at least 30-50 children receive gifts from families that want to help others. We are able to connect the two together so that each child receives something.  This time of the year our staff delivers and picks up many gifts for needy families. We are able to get new clothes and shoes for children and age appropriate toys. For two years we have being able to do the Santa Kubby table at Light Up Lake Lillian event in Belleview. At this event we are able to provide low cost items that children can buy for their family. This gives us an opportunity to become visible in our community while passing out Shepherds Lighthouse information. Our staff serves on the Homeless Coalition. This group assesses the needs of the homeless and is working on productive solutions for the challenges that face us today in Marion County. We are working with the other agencies to develop a universal application that will reduce time to provide services to the clients that we serve. This referral system, when complete, will connect all agencies in the network so that information can be shared. This will help all participating agencies reduce duplicate services. Shepherd's LightHouse completes all benevolent applications for the Church of Hope in Ocala. During our follow up and assessment we are able to refer people to agencies that has funding to help them. This helps the church divert funds to other mission opportunities. We will be receiving a grant this year that will provide much needed funding for clients that need rental and utility deposits. This grant will help us place our clients into supportive and permeant housing. We will be filling out applications for this funding and case managing these clients so they will become stable and sustainable. We are the recipients of the United Way funding for the next two years. During the campaign session we share Shepherd's Lighthouse stories to the community to help generate funding. We provide adult diapers and medical equipment to local nursing homes to their clients that otherwise cannot afford them. We also give sweat suits/jogging suits and lap blankets to these homes during the winter months. Each week we receive bread that feeds our families here and 4 additional families. We also share food with the local nursing homes when available.


Helpful Definitions For The Shepherd's Lighthouse:
Transitional housing is affordable supportive housing designed to provide housing and appropriate support services to persons who are homeless or who are close to homelessness. The transition is to help them be more self sufficient to move towards independent living on their own. Transitional housing locations are oftentimes called Halfway Houses. The naming of the two (Halfway House OR Transitional House) is oftentimes interchangeable.

Many Transitional Housing programs are subsidized and are income based. Income based transitional housing generally charges 30% of your income for rent when you do have income. Contact the transitional housing facility to see if this applies.

Services provided at transitional housing facilities varies from substance abuse treatment, to psychological assistance, job training, domestic violence assistance, etc. The assistance provided varies, but it is generally affordable and low cost housing. Read the descriptions of each of the transitional living locations for more detailed information. Transitional housing facilities also may or may not assist with alcohol and/or drug substance abuse treatment.Supportive Housing Programs that provide an alternative living arrangement for individuals who, because of age, disability, substance abuse, mental illness, chronic homelessness or other circumstances, are unable to live independently without care, supervision and/or support to help them in the activities of daily living; or who need access to case management, housing support, vocational, employment and other services to transition to independent living.

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