STEPS (Successful Transitions Effectively Preparing for Self-Sufficiency) is The Night Ministry’s transitional living program, providing up to two years of housing and intensive life skills coaching for young adults ages 18 to 22. For young people experiencing homelessness or housing instability, the program serves as a stepping stone toward independent living. STEPS houses up to eight young adults at a time.
Through the STEPS Program, young people are provided with a stable residence, comprehensive case management, one-on-one life skills training, health care services, and other resources to help them live safe and responsible lives. Residents are empowered to set their goals in consultation with their Case Manager. Stable housing allows residents to focus on educational and vocational goals and serves as an opportunity to save money for future housing needs, such as a security deposit on an apartment or rent.
In addition to working with their Case Manager, residents receive ongoing coaching from Program Specialists and support from their fellow residents. Residents also have opportunities to participate in cultural and recreational activities organized by The Night Ministry.
One client, who we will call Tasha, entered the STEPS Transitional Living Program and hit the ground running setting high goals for herself. During Tasha’s eight months in STEPS, she worked closely with Anthony, her Case Manager, who supported her in her journey to stable independent housing. With the support of STEPS, Tasha was able to enroll in Surgical Technician courses to enhance her education level and set herself up for career success. While taking courses during the day, Tasha was connected to an overnight job at Midway Airport cleaning airplanes. Anthony explained, “Tasha struggled slightly with the rigor of taking on her courses and a job, but she was able to manage it and saved over $2,500 during her time at STEPS. Her motivation and endurance are amazing!”
Together, Anthony and Tasha began hunting for an apartment that she would be able to sustain given her savings and potential new job as a Surgical Technician. After locating an apartment, Anthony went with Tasha to meet the landlord, and help Tasha advocate for herself as a renter. Anthony noted, “Tasha was just barely under the income level the landlord was looking for, but we explained how hard she works and how dedicated she is to her new career. We left thinking that she had a slim chance of getting the apartment.” A few days later, Tasha got a call that she was selected and she was able to sign the lease the same day. Tasha finished her clinical rotations as the last step in her studies and was able to get a job at a local hospital just after moving into her brand-new apartment. Anthony explained, “I just spoke to her the other day. She is moving around her furniture and decorating her first-ever apartment. It doesn’t get much better than that”.