The Journey Narrative
The Journey Ministry is an opportunity for mentors to walk with our participants after they leave our shelters, working to return to the “homefull” community.
In this ministry, teams of two to three mentors will walk beside former or current shelter guests for at least six months, supporting each participant in building the simple life skills forgotten in the crisis of homelessness.
Through the mentors of this ministry, PACEM seeks to provide weekly contact and a supportive relationship with a neighbor outside the homeless community. We believe these relationships can help build a sense of hope, help the participants identify their own goals, and focus on a journey forward out of homelessness. These mentorships could lead to ultimately building a friendship with a compassionate neighbor.
The goals of Journey Volunteers (mentors) are to:
- Listen to someone in crisis.
- Meet once a week for at least six months offering safe, regular companionship.
- Encourage work toward simple goals the participant identifies.
- Help reduce barriers and obstacles to meeting these goals.
- Learn how to help participants connect to community resources.
The basis of this mentorship will be to provide companionship and sustain this relationship.
Once this is achieved, the goal is to support participants in taking the basic steps they see they must take in order to sustain stable housing in our community.
There is no one who is in greater need of support than an individual who is working to leave homelessness behind. It is difficult, indeed, to become self-sufficient when you lack basic life skills. We believe supportive mentor circles are a tool to facilitate the building of life skills and help support the sense of hope which is required on this long journey. It is this sense of hope which can sustain someone and enable them to believe in their own potential.
The first Journey Volunteers (mentors) from PACEM will:
- Participate in a 2-hour orientation.
- Meet with a participant once a week.
- Attend peer mentor meetings once a month to work through the challenges of maintaining supportive relationships.
- Reach out to the PACEM Homeless Liaison and Program Director as assistance is required.
A one-month probation period gives the participant and/or the Journey Volunteer a chance to establish a relationship and to make sure the relationship has a safe and solid foundation before it moves forward.
The Journey Participants will:
- Be a current or former guest of PACEM.
- Express an interest in working with mentors from PACEM’s congregations.
- Be willing to talk about envisioning steps which would allow them to move beyond homelessness.
- Commit to meeting with a volunteer from their mentor team weekly.
PACEM Staff will support the Journey Volunteers and participants through:
- A 2-hour initial training session.
- A Journey Volunteer Manual which will include tools about mentoring, helpful articles and case studies, and a list of resource and reference materials.
- An introductory event to begin relationships.
- Responding to mentor questions or concerns on an ad hoc basis.
- Facilitating monthly volunteer peer sessions.