In 1992, The Sheepfold of California implemented its innovative “Mark IV” program. Unlike many shelters, which allow residents to stay only a few nights and address only physical needs, the “Mark IV” three-phase program prepares our mothers for independent living within six months.
The program begins by establishing a normal daily routine for the family including nutritious meals, household chores and responsibilities. The mothers begin a plan to address their specific needs and those of their children. These may include enrolling children in school, legal obligations, medical and dental appointments. Our House Managers help each resident to establish a financial plan and explore housing and employment options.
With our help, each mother establishes a means of support for herself and her children, develops and adheres to a budget, learns parenting skills, locates affordable housing and saves the equivalent of two month’s living expenses. After completing our program, she is ready for independent living.
The following is the plan that the residents follow:
A resident’s entire stay with us is based on this Mark IV Program. The three phases, when followed, will lead her to independent living, and a new beginning. It is based on the ‘Parable of the Sower’ in Mark 4:3-20 in the Bible.”
“There are some seeds which are sown on good ground; such as hear The Word and receive it and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold and some a hundredfold.”Mark 4:20
- Begins when a new resident is taken into the shelter.
- She settles into the routine of the house, learns the rules, and is assigned certain household duties and responsibilities.
- Begins daily Bible studies and growth in the Word of God.
- She joins in all house or outside activities of the shelter.
- Begins gathering and keeping records regarding vital statistics, children’s school, medical and legal, etc.
- She opens a savings account and deposits all monies received or in her possession.
- Completes her “Do List” within 30 days.
During the 30 day period of the Thirtyfold Program, her attitudes and accomplishments will determine her readiness to progress to Sixtyfold.
- During this time of her stay, the resident will begin to apply the knowledge she has received from the Word of God in her practical life situations.
- She will take responsibility for her own situation, no matter who caused it, and will begin to seek practical solutions for her needs.
- She will be given resource material to help in finding employment and child care.
- She will be taught how to tithe according to the Bible.
- She will receive help determining whether to be on welfare, or obtain employment or attend a short term job training program.
During the 60 days of the Sixtyfold program, her attitudes and accomplishments will determine her readiness to progress to Hundredfold.
- She will open a checking account and follow a plan to budget money for independent living.
- She will find an apartment, transportation and a home church.
- She will be helped with furniture and household items as much as possible by The Sheepfold.
- She will continue in all the activities of the shelter until the day she leaves.
Upon completion of this phase, our resident leaves the shelter and is once and for all off the rolls of the homeless. No longer a statistic, but a vital Christian woman proclaiming victory in Jesus!