Address: 1561 Jackson Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
Phone: (563) 582-7480
Maria House is more than a transitional housing initiative. Its philosophy and programs reflect the dignity of women and supports them in claiming their own power. Women are encouraged to make choices that are appropriate for them, to develop personal responsibility, to live independently in permanent housing and to achieve their full potential.
All potential residents are prescreened in a phone interview. After the prescreening the Program Director sets up a time for an intake. At intake, each woman’s needs are assessed. Based on those needs, goals are set. Women are expected to stay at least six months, but no more than two years. During this time, staff works closely with the women to set developmental goals and create strategies to achieve them. With the assistance of the Program Director and Legal Advocate, goals for each woman are written, reinforced daily and updated weekly.
If the resident has income, she is expected to pay for part of the cost of her stay at Maria House. Through the intake process, the amount of her income is determined. Half of this income is put into a savings account during her stay at Maria House. The other half enables her to pay part of the cost of her stay at Maria House, including her personal items, food, clothing, transportation and operating expenses for the program. Even though this amount is generally only a small percentage of the total cost of her stay, it helps her develop a greater sense of responsibility and derive satisfaction from being able to support herself, at least partially. The amount of money in a woman’s savings account when she is ready to leave gives her a good start on finding a place to live and paying the required deposits on the rental lease and utilities.
Existing community resources are utilized for job training, education, employment, individual and family counseling plus access to safe, affordable, permanent housing. In addition, staff at Maria House offers life-skills training and many supportive services on-site. These services include:
- Parent skills
- Women’s health issues
- Social skills
- Communication skills
- Anger management
- Legal services
- Computer skills
- Housing advocacy
While the women are living at Maria House, a world of opportunity is available to them. They are taught life skills and receive personal support that enables them to be self-sufficient in the future.
When a woman is ready to leave the program, an exit interview is conducted. Her goals are reviewed again to determine if she has met them and is ready to move on to permanent housing. At this time, it is hoped that the woman has obtained the life skills necessary to enable her to become a self-sufficient, productive member of society. If necessary, the woman is referred to case management through another agency. In addition, every woman who leaves Maria House is offered follow-up support for up to six months.