We offer emergency shelter, high quality services and a continuum of care that leads to permanent, sustainable housing as clients transition back into the workforce and independent life.
All Lynn Shelter Association clients have access to case management, with referrals to community resources for housing advocacy, benefits maximization, assistance with job and housing searches and other services. On site, we provide mental health assessments and counseling, as well as substance abuse counseling. We facilitate access to detox and treatment of mental and physical illnesses, when indicated, by collaborating with other caring organizations and providers. Our newest initiative - the Enrichment Center - strives to provide all of our clients with experiences and opportunities that will expand their skills/knowledge, nurture self-worth, and enhance social skills - all geared towards maximizing their potential to live, work and participate in their communities.
Emergency Shelter + Basic Services
LSA serves individuals experiencing homelessness 365 days per year 24 hours per day. We not only serve our shelter residents but our outreach program also reaches those living on the street. Our emergency shelter serves more than 500 adult homeless men and women each year, where we provide snacks, coffee, a safe space to escape the elements and - for clients who are ready to engage more deeply - service referrals, access to case managers, and enrichment programming. The newly furnished recreational room offers a quiet space for clients and community members to watch a movie or engage in interactive activities like games and groups. LSA also collaborates with Greater Lynn Senior Services to provide a monthly kiosk for our elderly guests and give guidance on healthier lifestyle options with the My Life, My Health workshops.
Permanent Supportive Housing + Services
LSA operates 89 single room occupancy (SRO) units and ten supported units for families with on-site case management and services, including homeless individuals and families with disabilities. These units are permanent housing - serving the chronically homeless, the disabled, and those with significant barriers to housing. Once people are assisted into housing, 89% remain housed.
Most of the parents we serve are suffering from some degree of trauma and their children often struggle with anxiety. A significant number of our homeless families are headed by single mothers who are victims of domestic violence.
Our three family shelters include Bridge House, Green House and Independence House, serving 64 homeless families. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development supports all three family shelters and families are referred to us through The Department of Transitional Assistance.
All shelters are open 24/7/365. Each family has their own room with their own key and their own small refrigerator and food cabinet. LSA provides families with three meals each day and a safe, nurturing environment.
On-site case management and direct care staff provide benefits maximization, housing and job search assistance, child care, transportation, medical and mental health care assessments, parenting skills training, and access to developmental play three times per week for children, as well as special holiday gatherings and celebrations to make the experience of family homelessness just a bit easier.
All shelters have backyard space for playing or access to a nearby playground, indoor playrooms, large kitchens and congregate dining areas.
Veteran housing is available at both the Osmund and Great Hill locations, and both facilities serve the chronically homeless. These programs provide intensive case management within a Housing First setting that includes veteran-specific counseling, referrals and services aimed at supporting homeless veterans.
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
Lynn Shelter has worked intensively for 32 years with individuals experiencing homelessness, including those living with HIV/AIDS. Though it is difficult to know with certainty, it appears that the majority of infections among individuals experiencing homelessness in Lynn comes from IV drug use. The opioid crisis has become an epidemic across the Commonwealth and its impact has been felt keenly in Lynn. Staff at all LSA sites receive annual HIV/AIDS trainings. In addition, LSA organizes HIV awareness sessions for guests of the emergency shelter in which harm reduction is discussed and counseling and testing are available.
Community Support for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH)
CSPECH case managers serve individuals who live on the North Shore of Boston who meet the definition of chronically homeless. The program offers intensive and collaborative case management services to chronically homeless adults with a disability in order to help them secure and retain permanent housing and achieve a greater degree of stability. CSPECH case managers assist with housing searches, making appointments, providing transportation, medical/ mental health triage. Clients who qualify for CSPECH also receive ongoing housing services and advocacy even after they are housed, which increases the likelihood that they will remain housed.
Enrichment at LSA
The LSA has recently increased the number of enrichment programs offered and has developed an official enrichment center in order to provide more targeted services to address the specific challenges our clients face. Enrichment center activities address a comprehensive array of needs designed to help clients exit homelessness, achieve stability and thrive in the long term. They are also tiered in the level of commitment required to make room for every client to participate at the level at which they are able. Below, we have highlighted a few examples of the enrichment programs we currently offer.
Our thorough financial curriculum utilizes non-profit partners in the community to help our clients build their financial skills, which are critical to their long-term success and stability. Staff from the Lynn Family Success Center deliver quarterly budgeting and money management workshops with one-on-one coaching available afterwards. These include overview of banking products and money management basics, which many of our clients lack. COMPASS Working Capital has begun delivering quarterly workshops on debt reduction and credit repair, as well as one-on-one coaching available to help guide our clients through the process of alleviating their personal debt.
EMPLOYMENT READINESS AND WORKFORCE TRAINING
At LSA we expose our clients to in-demand jobs in the local economy (Greater Boston and the North Shore) that represent careers with higher compensation opportunities over time, and how to get qualified for them. We partner with the North Shore Career Center, who offers monthly employment readiness workshops for our clients, including one-on-one personalized career assessments. The career center works closely with LSA staff to support clients through the multiple steps required to make their career dreams a reality.
Most of our clients have experienced some sort of trauma, and the LSA has entered into a partnership with YogaHope to bring their TIMBo program to our clients. TIMBo is a research-validated approach that draws on yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices to teach women to heal the emotional and psychological scars of trauma and how to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression to remain focused on long-term financial, career and life goals. We also offer art therapy workshops in partnership with Lesley University.
In order to bring this rich tapestry of services to the LSA, it is essential that we build and grow strong community partnerships. Some of our partners include: the North Shore Career Center, the Family Stability Center, the North Shore Justice Institute, YogaHope, Parenting Journey, Lesley University and Salem State University, My Brother’s Table, and numerous other community partners and volunteers.