A tax & benefits friendly lifestyle option for people exiting homelessness that supports co-living, resident and neighborhood wellness, and on-site operations.
Saint Francis Challenge's Resident Steward model is an actionable and empowering approach to ending the crisis conditions of living on the streets and supporting operations and co-living in shelters, SROs, and other types of transitional and supported housing.
People exiting homelessness are generally encouraged by service workers onto one of two paths: 1) Become completely independent as a wage earning employee or independent contractor; or 2) Stay within poverty level income limits so that their housing and/or benefits aren't jeopardized.
Saint Francis Challenge wants to showcase and build momentum for Resident Stewardship as an “interdependent” alternative that can be easily integrated within the current tax and benefit structure, supports reciprocity and participation of residents, and allows for the accrual of non-taxed savings for HUD-approved wellness spending (e.g. housing, transportation, medical, clothing, and food expenses).
An interdependent approach to ending homelessness
Living on the streets in survival mode and a heightened state of alertness day in and day out quickly erodes a person’s foundation of well-being, trust, and belonging. That’s why Saint Francis Challenge's SOS (Supported Outdoor Shelter/Safe Organized Spaces) + Resident Stewardship models provide the necessary structure and support to help transition residents out of survival mode and towards a focus on belonging, essential needs, shared agreements, and teamwork, as either a temporary step or a chosen lifestyle.
The Resident Steward model is designed to assess and build upon the strengths and interests of residents who are transitioning from the streets and/or typical shelter environments, and then match their skills to the needs of a specific place.
Resident Stewardship opportunities within different types of transitional shelter provide an important step out of living in crisis conditions before the next destination, whether that be another type of shelter, an SRO, supported housing, shared housing, a studio, back with families (biological or chosen), etc.
Hopefully the Resident Steward program can one day be included into all types of shelter, lodging, and housing in order to support co-living, resident and neighborhood wellness, and on-site operations and activities.
Saint Francis Challenge Proposals for Resident Stewardship Pilot Programs