Shalom’s existing facilities have been operating in residential areas for 11 years, without incident. Over the past 12 years Shalom has proven to the Western Australian community that it is a safe and well-run organisation that to date has had no issues with the police or emergency services. We selected the Craigie property as a residence for our Women’s Wellness program as it is appropriately zoned and the location would support women and children who have made the decision to change their lives.
The Shalom program provides a safe environment for residents to address addictions to life controlling substances and issues, including drugs, alcohol, medications, depression and anxiety. The goal is to resolve previous choices and experiences through counselling. They learn and apply problem-resolution, communication and decision-making skills to make better choices in future. Finally, they progress to improving their work skills, vocational skills and life skills ready for re-entering mainstream society. There will be a mix of residents at various stages of the program living at the Craigie property.
The women in attendance will not be under the influence of any drug or substance – Shalom works on a model of complete abstinence and close supervision, rather than the substitution or gradual withdrawal of controlling substances. Drinking, smoking, vaping and alcohol are not permitted on or off the property.
In the earlier stages of the program residents are closely supervised by staff and resident leaders. We have a process in place and levels of reporting that monitors residents movements, as well as curfews in place for all residents. Movements to and from the site are generally by bus transport in groups. They will do volunteer activities offsite but at times small groups may do activities at the Craigie property such as craft, cooking, counselling, etc. The program also arranges for teams of residents to attend and undertake supervised employment and charitable work for people in need in the broader community. The types of charitable work includes, collecting garbage in local suburbs, conducting cleaning services for not for profits, conducting cleaning and maintenance services at Lockridge Primary School, Perth Montessori School and Swan Christian School; and gardening for elderly individuals.
As they progress through the program they transition to paid work with an employer, starting at two days a week and this is increased as they move through the program, depending on their progress and personal growth. Work includes textiles recycling, a second hand clothing boutique, second hand furniture shop and café.
There will be one to two caretakers residing at the property. These caretakers are on staff and part of their role is to manage and support the residents and the property. They will also deal with any situations that may arise.
The women and children that will be residing at the facility will mainly be there after-hours. During school and business hours the children will be at school and/or daycare, the women will generally be at paid work or voluntary work.
A roster of domestic tasks is kept, and each participant has household obligations each day. Residents are expected to keep their own bedroom and, jointly, to keep all living areas clean and orderly.
On Saturdays the residents get to participate in planned and supervised recreational activities that may include bus trips to the beach or other recreational venues. Each Saturday evening the residents are taken to “Shalom House Family Night”. Here there is an inclusive church service before everyone shares a meal together. This is a safe place for family members and friends of the residents to spend time together.
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