We believe that everyone deserves a home. Our mission is to serve our city's most vulnerable. We envision a Colorado Springs where all individuals and families are housed in a supportive environment and are connected with resources to assist with their growth in the community. Our organizational philosophy and values guide the how and why of Ithaka. We seek to work values-forward (human dignity, respect, integrity, personal growth and stability, sustainability, and diversity & inclusiveness) and in practice combine these values with trauma-informed care and nonviolent communication. Trauma-informed care helps staff to connect with their residents by seeing residents as individuals. Staff must ask why a certain behavior is being exhibited and what happened in their past that informs their behavior today? Nonviolent Communication, as written in the book, Words that Work in Business, focuses on needs of the individual in the moment. Unexpressed needs are often underlying what is being communicated face-to-face; helping to identify the needs of both parties helps to create common ground for relationship-building. For over 30 years, Ithaka offered temporary housing for individuals and permanent housing for individuals and families. When our current Executive Director joined Ithaka in October of 2017, Ithaka began asking how can we better serve our cityâs most vulnerable while staying mission-forward and values-focused? In April 2018, we launched our Low-Barrier Transitional Housing Program for homeless individuals. We developed this new program to have defined outcomes to assist our residents in reaching their goals and to walk alongside our residents on their journey toward recovery from homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. In July 2019, we shifted away from permanent housing and launched our Service Enhanced Transitional Housing Program for low-income families. This program was developed in response to the growing need to accommodate larger homeless families in our community and to assist with the development of self-sufficiency skills. Our waitlist had grown to over 200 applicants representing more than 1,000 individuals. Our new program allows Ithaka to serve more families as our residents transition to stable permanent housing outside of Ithaka.
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