A little over three years ago when our founder and his partner decided to provide rehabilitative services and transitional living to veterans, mentally disabled, and non-violent offenders.
Having experienced working in other transitional living facilities in the past, our CEO was able to see that the present infrastructure of the available programs was not really conducive to addressing the whole person. They saw a real need in this area, one that would address the whole person mentally, spiritually, physically, and financially. Instilling in them confidence, a sense of worth, and the capacity to successfully re-enter society. The idea was to not just “cure” and get them off the streets, but to "heal" and "restore" them so that they can maintain a comfortable living. This led to the creation of The FAB House.
The FAB House is a secure 1400 square foot safe haven located in Chicago’s South Suburbs (Dolton) with 24-hour staff that focuses on teaching and restoring independent living skills to the homeless, veterans and non-violent ex-offenders transitioning to independent living through our specialized and intensive Developmental Skills Training Program (DST℠). The FAB House is a place of peace and stability where residents are treated like family. They are given the freedom, support, encouragement and discipline to help identify personal triggers and overcome various challenges that have held them captive from rising above unsettling and often times painful circumstances.
At Fathers and Blessings (FAB) NFP we are committed to providing a safe, productive environment where males 18 and older can gain vital independent living skills.
Our Developmental Skills Training program (DST℠) is an essential ingredient of our community-oriented goals. The program’s three main components consist of WELLNESS, TRAINING, and INDEPENDENCY. Each component is equally built within DST℠ in order to reach the common goal of preparing our clients for re-entry into the community as positive, productive, and responsible citizens. This program has been instrumental for over 10 years in assisting individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds to establish control and independence in their lives.
Within the DST℠ holistic approach, our curriculum is geared towards the “whole” person, and builds upon each client’s unique physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual characteristics needs. In addition, we implement a much-needed necessity by providing each of our clients with continued educational classes and vocational training. All services are implemented within our FAB House.
Clients come to the FAB House post psychiatric treatment, incarceration, and/or as a result of referral. It is imperative in the inaugural stages of transition that these men arrive in a safe place that provides an extension of treatment and a spirit of care and concern where they feel welcome and supported. This is a vital stage as we begin building their foundation for community re-entry with the DST℠ curriculum.
During this stage, residents become oriented to the program's eight steps, and connect with any follow-up auxiliary services, such as their physician, therapist or probation officer. They are:
1. Assigned Spiritual Partners
2. Given Daily Chores
3. Provided with Scheduled Community Service Appointments
4. Engage In A Fitness Program
5. Establish A Realistic Action plan
6. Enrolling In Educational/Vocational Training Program
7. Personal Finance/Time Management
8. Gainful Employment
Clients, depending on their level of fitness and ability to participate, are also required to engage in a fitness program. At the closure of this stage, residents are prepared for lift off.
Prior to participating in our DST Program most of our clients have made several unsuccessful attempts at independent living , while others have yet to experience living on their own. Most have had, and still have, dreams and ambitions to do something meaningful with their lives, but haven’t been able to find a process that works.
For those who haven’t had an idea about what they want to do in life, or have had dreams deferred, this phase will give them the opportunity to build one – and, with hard work, lift off with their dreams.
During this phase, our FAB House team, along with an assigned FAB House peer partner, provides positive reinforcement and encouragement to each client to help transform their dreams into a realistic plan of action. They will continue with DST℠ and build upon those skills by expanding their involvement in the community
One of the key components of this phase is enrolling in educational classes and/or vocational training and turning those goals into reality. The final aspect of this phase includes personal finance/time management as our clients continue with their spiritual guidance and fitness regimens.
This is the last phase of the passage here at FAB House. This step focuses on moving towards independent living. Our ultimate goal is for each of our residents to live in wellness and to breathe the fresh air of life through living independently, responsibly and with confidence.
We want each client to experience the brighter side of what their unique and valuable life has to offer. Along with employment or school, residents will begin to take on more responsibility in FAB House and have more individualized support from the FAB House team.
At this phase, residents will have demonstrated responsibility with money, have incorporated health and wellness skills, have a realistic plan to further educational and vocational goals, continued investment in the community through volunteerism and actively display a humble spirit of leadership
A comprehensive discharge plan will be created along with the resident’s support system to ensure a smooth transition into independent living. At the end of this stage, clients are prepared to walk confidently in the direction of their dreams and live the vision they have created for themselves.
“Through the love and guidance of FAB, my son has his life back. He is a new man who is free from drugs and alcohol. If he hadn’t gone into this program I have no doubt he would be in jail or dead…….” Parent of a FAB House resident
“FAB saved my son’s life! I am forever in your debt” – FAB House Parent
“This organization is the blueprint for transitional housing that prepares their clients for independent living across the country” – FAB Supporter