Fresh Start exists to maximize all that Compassion United’s three transition homes are already doing-empowering residents with tools to overcome obstacles, limitations and unhealthy habits so they can succeed in all areas of their lives. Fresh Start offers support, education, accountability and empowerment to those who have expressed a deep desire to exit a life of poverty and become productive, successful members of our community. We help them to identify destructive cycles in their life and then replace them with healthy habits that enable them to become self-sufficient. Our goal is to feed the impoverished, while transforming the poverty mindset.

Volunteers and staff work with the homeless on a daily basis. If they are a good fit for our Fresh Start program, they are invited in one of our three transition homes. They will then be paired with a mentor. The mentor will work one-on-one with them to help set goals that form a success plan and then hold them accountable for the execution of that plan.

Fresh Start has created a structured environment to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the participant as well as teaching life skills that will be necessary to experience success in life. In order to do this, we developed an empowerment class program that we call Fresh Start University or FSU. These life skills classes are held on a weekly basis with a wide range of topics such as resume writing, communication, decision making, budgeting, boundaries, conflict resolution, and developing a healthy identity. In addition to these classes, we also leverage the offerings of other community organizations to provide additional resources and support.

We use the Gallup Company’s StrengthsFinders assessment as a form of personal development. This tool highlights the residents strengths, allowing them to see some of the great qualities that come natural to them. Then we work to invest in and develop those strengths.

At Fresh Start, we are imparting the message to our partners that they have value and are inviting them into an environment where they can rise up to their full potential. We are providing classes to teach a myriad of life skills and then reinforcing these concepts in mentoring relationships. The goal of this ministry is to partner relationally with our clients while empowering them to self-sufficiency. We are providing a safe place for them to transition out of survival mode and develop a vision for their future.