Our services make up our long-term program. Each part helps make our families whole.
Each family at the Good Shepherd Shelter lives in one of our fourteen individual apartment units. These family apartments provide privacy, space and safety and give the mother an opportunity to “practice” being a single parent. She can establish a new family routine and give each child the time and attention needed to feel secure.
Adult Learning Center
Mothers attend classes in family health and nutrition, parenting, first aid, self-defense, yoga and stress management. We also provide money management, computer training and job acquisition skills. Some receive tutoring to meet a special need or goal, such as a GED. With the support of our staff, the mothers can establish their own goals for their families and create an atmosphere of security and growth.
The Good Shepherd Learning Academy is an elementary school focused on blended learning. Through blended learning, the teachers are able to meet the special needs of each child, and provides transferable credits for PreK-6. The children are able to learn in smaller groups and at their own pace. Because of the emotional turmoil in which they have lived, many are below grade level and often have emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties.
Through individualized attention and special activities that address their needs, the children can rebuild their self-esteem and have a positive school experience. The mothers are taught how to assist them with homework and how to support and sustain their academic and personal efforts. On Wednesdays, the mothers read to the children, reinforcing the importance of education and keeping them involved. Many of the children go on to receive awards and scholarships and realize their dreams of a fulfilling career.
Early childhood education Center
The early development center, children younger than 4, campus gives the younger children a safe environment that promotes self-expression and autonomy, as well as opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth. Pre-reading, creative play, music, storytelling, wholesome free play and learning together help them to heal and experience a normal childhood.
The therapeutic program for the children includes individual and group therapy that seeks to repair the emotional and psychological damage caused by the violence perpetrated by someone who was supposed to be their protector in their own homes. A safe environment is created in which each child is able to freely express his or her feelings, and learn coping skills to deal with trauma and appropriate methods of communication that will break the generational cycle of domestic abuse.
The Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) is a multi-disciplinary team in which a law enforcement officer is paired with a highly trained advocate. This is a system-based model that joins the efforts of criminal justice, social service and community based agencies.The team consists of police officers in uniform and a counselor advocate who have extensive knowledge on issues of domestic violence. The officers will respond to domestic violence/domestic dispute calls in West Los Angeles to assure safety of the victim and their family. Our counselor/advocate will then provide crisis intervention, emotional support, advocacy, information about their rights and options, assistance with restraining order paperwork, shelter placement, transportation and resource information to survivors. The counselor/advocate later follows up with the victim.
Through the generosity of individual attorneys and firms, pro bono legal assistance is provided on site to ensure the safety and legal rights of the mothers and children. If necessary, staff will assist and accompany the mothers to court.
Spiritual support (optional)
Good Shepherd Shelter accepts families of any or no religion. Families are welcome to participate in religious activities at the Shelter but there is no obligation to do so.
Aftercare PROGRAM - THE GOOD SHEPHERD SHELTER AND BEYOND
Because Good Shepherd Shelter is funded by private donations alone, the length of stay for each family is determined only by their needs and participation in the program, not by any predetermined mandates from an outside funding agency. The mother meets with the staff at regular intervals to discuss short-term and long-term goals for herself and each of her children and how we can assist her in meeting those goals. The average length of stay is about a year.
When they are ready to relocate to the larger community, they are encouraged to establish a support system in their new location. No matter where a Good Shepherd Shelter family may live, the staff are always ready to offer assistance in any way possible to help families make a successful transition. They continue to keep in contact, often for years.