LaunchPoint is a four-week program that helps homeless men and women begin a new life journey. Ultimately, LaunchPoint is about restoring hope – reconnecting the individual to the dreams that he or she once had but were lost when the individual’s life path went off track. During the four-week period, participants begin discovering God’s plan and purpose for their lives, develop their own life plan with realistic goals, and learn to implement their life plan in manageable steps.
Participants spend four hours per day in a classroom setting and afternoons in a “lab” environment. Key topics include education and job training, financial literacy (including the FDIC Money Smart self-paced curriculum), housing, physical/mental health and support, legal literacy, goal setting, and self-advocacy.
The focus of LaunchPoint is on movement and choice.
- Movement: By capitalizing on their God-given talents and not allowing themselves to be held back or identified by their deficiencies, students become “unstuck” from past experience, able to move forward.
- Choice: While developing their own readiness to change, participants are introduced to the various community resources in order to choose those that will help them achieve their goals.
In the first week, participants learn about the opportunities and resources they can access to help build a new life. Secondly, they prioritize their strengths and interests, and identify the changes they want to make.
In week two, the students engage in a guided planning and goal setting process. This includes skills training for decision making, creating and maintaining a support system, and self-advocacy.
By week three, participants are identifying their God-given strengths and as they develop a vision for their future. Guided by their vision, they formulate long-term life goals and identify the skills they need to achieve those goals. Intertwined through all of this is the focus on healthy relationships that will support their life planning work.
In the final week, the students share their life plan with staff, mentors and peers. Accompanied by an action plan, participants develop short-term goals to help them achieve their larger plans. Lessons focus on communication and respect. The course concludes with self-presentations of their plans to their peers.
To date, nearly 500 men and women have graduated from LaunchPoint, and have moved on to employment and independent living, or are moving forward to break out of their cycle of homelessness.