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Empowering Change and Women: GRACE

Since 1987, Grapevine Relief And Community Exchange (GRACE) has remained dedicated to its mission to assist individuals and families in crisis and guidance toward self-sufficiency.

What began as a small collaboration between a few churches and civic leaders grew into a well-established, independent relief agency that provides our community with a safety net of support through a wide range of staff-supported programs. GRACE programs include a self-select food pantry, emergency financial assistance for rent/utilities, a community medical clinic, a clothing room, children's programming, senior services, and transitional housing.

As all these programs are designed to be temporary, every potential client must first meet with a caseworker before receiving services. At intake, GRACE caseworkers conduct an in-depth assessment which includes questions about the client's family size, housing situation, education level, job skills, employment, medical insurance, income, and expenses. This process allows GRACE to properly assess the family’s situation, allocate the appropriate amount of services, and provide goals to guide the client back to self-sufficiency.

The GRACE Transitional Housing program is for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. GRACE provides housing while clients find work, regain financial stability, and learn new skills. Almost all clients who participate in the Transitional Housing program are women who have experienced a sudden financial change or are seeking freedom from a dangerous environment. While clients generally remain in the program for 18-24 months, GRACE requires all clients entering this program to commit to a minimum of six months.

This program, while full of opportunity, is not easy. From intake, each client agrees to a criminal history check, remain drug-free during the duration of the program, attend regular meetings with case managers, maintain employment, attend school or retraining, manage a weekly/monthly budget, and if necessary attend counseling sessions.

Clients received a personalized but strict case management plan that includes individual financial goals, employment requirements, educational requirements, and other various goals that will help the client learn or relearn how to be independent. GRACE case managers act as mentors encouraging each of the women to make wise choices, and teaching them to look ahead and prepare for the unknown. Their guidance combined with the client's determination has led to extraordinary outcomes and heartwarming testimonies.

One of GRACE Transitional Housing’s recent graduates is Heather Woodard.  Here is a glimpse of her story:

“When I first came to GRACE I knew it was going to be a fresh start for me and my girls for a better future. My emotions were all over the place. I had been through a lot of trauma so I knew this program was the place for me to get the therapy I needed to heal. GRACE made me believe in myself. I hit rock bottom and they helped me get my life back in order. I’ve had emotional support and financial support in the program. My kids and I feel so much love from GRACE.”

To support or learn more about GRACE and the GRACE Transitional Housing program please visit our website at www.gracegrapevine.org

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