What is Genesis?
Genesis is a program for individuals and families striving to make difficult life changes to improve their ability to obtain or retain safe and permanent housing. We match a qualified individual or family with a team of volunteers who have been approved and trained as mentors. Supported by a professional social worker, the Mentee(s) and Mentors work together for 18 weeks to complete a curriculum designed to improve goal setting, budgeting, parenting, and other daily living skills Mentees identify as important. Genesis combines sharing information and encouragement, within a trust-building personal relationship, to improve the Mentees ability to remain safely housed and to better care for their basic physical needs.
How does Genesis Work?
A working poor individual or family is interviewed by a professional social worker and selected to be matched with a sponsoring church, business, or civic group. The Mentee(s) complete a household financial literacy curriculum (with parenting and other daily living skills assistance as needed), with the help of a dedicated and trained team of 1 to 5 Mentors.
Mentee(s) and Mentors meet 12 times during an 18 week period; with 8 sessions focused on skill development and 4 sessions focused on relationship building and fun. Both Mentors and Mentees are supported throughout the process by a professional social worker.
Role of Sponsoring Organizations:
While we have many teams who do not have a Sponsoring Organization, it is our hope that churches, businesses, service clubs, and others will volunteer to sponsor a team of Mentors. Sponsoring Organizations are asked to:
- Identify a mentoring team of 1-5 people who can commit to working with their family over an 18 week time frame;
- Support and encourage their Mentors as we prepare them via a two training sessions and support them via an assigned professional social worker; and
- Raise up to $1,000 to help the Genesis Mentee(s) with some housing and related expenses (1st month’s rent and/or deposit or other appropriate housing support).
Who are our Genesis Mentees:
- Individuals or Families who are homeless or in dire risk of becoming homeless;
- Have a verifiable source of income that will support their normal living expenses after they receive some short-term housing assistance;
- Have expressed a desire to make some significant life style changes to improve their self-sufficiency;
- Are looking forward to and committed to meeting with their Mentors at least 12 times over 18 weeks; and
- Agree to complete the Genesis goal setting, budgeting, and where applicable parenting curriculum.
How do I get involved?
Contact Sharla Keyser at The Community Outreach if you would like more information. Please call him at (605) 331-3935 or email him at: [email protected]
THANK YOU for volunteering to make a difference!!!