RMM currently runs two Life Skills Empowerment Programs that assist individuals in the process of recovery from the dual traumas associated with a major life crisis and homelessness. Each program meets twice a week for 12 to 14 weeks, and is based on a model developed jointly by the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing and New York Catholic Charities. The programs offer opportunities to rebuild one’s life through the strengthening of essential life skills, and the sharing of life stories in the context of the establishment of a supportive community. Metro/RMM’s programs serve two distinct populations: The Living Well LSEP serves women who have experienced the trauma of domestic violence and homelessness. The Homecoming LSEP serves military veterans who have also experienced homelessness. Each LSEP class has between 8 and 12 participants. The sessions are comprised of six distinct components:
1. Joining in Community: Each session begins with a shared meal and shared reflection on a passage from scripture or inspirational reading. All religions and philosophies welcome.
2. Life Skills Sessions with Guest Speakers: Speakers offer presentations on important topics including Breaking the Cycle, Self-Image, Goal Setting, Healthy Relationships and the World of Work.
3. Goal Setting with Mentors: Each participant works one-on-one with a trained volunteer to set and achieve short and long term goals.
4. Personal Stories: Participants are guided in sharing their life experiences.
5. Case Management: Both the participants and the mentors are supported by a social work case worker to provide support and services in order to help to accomplish goals.
6. Civic Involvement and Advocacy: a community meeting with public officials and community members to discuss the public policies regarding the issues and ways that it could be improved; and a Graduation where participants, members/ congregants, instructors, friends and family celebrate the successful completion of the program.