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Engagement to Service to Stability

We are revisiting the Dining Room Engagement program this month to see what services people access after they engage with a Social Worker in the Dining Room. Of 395 new engagements from the Dining Room, 39% have used Social Work Center services to increase the stability in their lives. I summarized the services we provide into 3 different categories: case management, stabilizing services, and information and referral. A person often utilizes all of the categories, allowing us to give a comprehensive approach to stabilization.

Case Management services included supportive counseling, searching for emergency or permanent housing, and assistance accessing entitlement, medical and mental health services. These services usually require continual follow up and support that is provided by the Social Worker. Stabilizing services include assistance with identification, laundry and hygiene services, and onsite food services.  When we provide Information and Referral services, we connect people to other St. Anthony programs, like the Tenderloin Tech Lab for education or employment needs. Or if the need is outside of what we can provide we link them to the best agency that can provide the necessary service. Social worker Sarah Spellman informed me of how this might look in reality. After Sarah engages a homeless woman in the Dining Room one day, the woman agrees to see Sarah for social work services. Sarah’s first objective is to assist the guest with obtaining a birth certificate, something that had been a barrier for this person for some time. After identification is obtained opportunities for income and accessing housing are opened up. Engaging with a stabilizing service along with continual case management allows for continual stabilization of this guest and is our hope for many others.   

Brittany Hodge is St. Anthony’s Database Manager.

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