For families who are experiencing homelessness, health challenges can include stress, limited access to healthy (or any) food, and chronic conditions like diabetes that often go untreated.
When we welcome a family to our San José Family Shelter, we immediately start to work with them on building a strong new foundation for long-term health and wellness. We know that health is crucial to family stability and independence.
Our Health and Wellness program promotes good nutrition, physical activity, and preventive health education that empowers families to improve their health outcomes.
Our Program Model
Our program provides the daily essentials of a nourishing, balanced diet to the families we serve. We supply three healthful meals and two snacks a day, 365 days a year, to ensure that our clients—close to 60% of them children under 18—receive the nutrients that they need for healthy development and effective school or work performance.
In 2014, we launched our Shelter-based Learning Garden. Our garden educator leads hands-on classes in growing your own produce, plus field trips to farms and farmer’s markets.
Our Family Garden Cookbook (free to client families) shares affordable no-cook, microwave and stovetop meal ideas that families can prepare using a few basic tools.
We provide onsite medical screenings and health education to the families we serve, plus referrals to community-based health providers. Our program educates families on preventive health and wellness strategies, such as developing individualized health management plans, restricting unhealthy foods, managing stress and increasing physical activity.
We believe that structured support helps families move from knowledge to action.
Based on that philosophy, our program connects individuals with identified risk factors to preventive health services and resources in our area. We offer one-on-one family sessions with our Health and Wellness Case Manager. We share information on no- or low-cost local resources for healthy foods and physical activity.
Interested to volunteer in our Health and Wellness Program? Click here to learn more about opportunities.