Ministering to Homeless Women with Children, Widows, and At-Risk Inner City Youth in Chattanooga, Tennessee USA

Residential Ministry

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Shepherd’s Arms is a Transitional Christ-Centered Shelter for Homeless Women with Children and not an emergency shelter. The difference being our residents may stay with us 4 to 6 months or longer if necessary. Over 750 homeless women with children have resided at Shepherd’s Arms with 60+% being placed into permanent housing. The goal of restoring dignity and self-worth according to Biblical principles is supreme with evangelism and depth of Christian Discipleship being a vital part of the process.

Intake is done by an initial phone interview followed by an on-site visit and tour. Shepherd’s Arms does not accept women who are at-risk because our shelter is not a hidden shelter. Applicants with a recent history of substance abuse are referred to a more appropriate placement. Shepherd’s Arms only accepts women with children. Residents leave the shelter at 7 a.m. daily and return at 6 p.m. and are asked to be productive by seeking employment, attending school, or actually working while in residence. Upon intake residents sign a covenant agreement to abide by the boundaries of the shelter which are aimed at keeping good things in and bad things out.

Weekly appointments with our counselor who is licensed and operates from a Biblical base is required. Counseling sessions are geared to provide weekly homework assignments aimed at expediting the exiting process as clients move into a productive lifestyle. Morning and evening devotions are a part of the program as well as Sunday afternoon chapel services at 4 p.m. The Bible is the primary textbook for all classes. Residents also are required to attend daily evening classes such as “Lord Heal My Hurts”, “Scriptural Boundaries”, “Crown Financial Studies” “Breaking Free” and other classes that are rotated daily.

Residents are provided three meals daily and a small weekly spending allowance that they are required to budget. They also receive clothing, personal hygiene items, bus passes or gas allowances. Minimal evening chores are required. Residents are allowed to do laundry daily and evening showers. Families are adopted for Christmas so that everyone is blessed with gifts, love, and acceptance.