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Steppingstone News

Steppingstone Inc. Receives Grant to Help Fund First Step Inn

The Anthony F. Cordeiro Charitable Foundation grant will help fund the First Step Inn shelter
that houses men and women

Fall River, MA- February 8, 2019 — The Anthony F. Cordeiro Charitable Foundation has awarded $2,500 to Steppingstone’s to fund the operating budget of the First Step Inn (FSI) emergency homeless shelter. Funding will go toward providing daily meals and case management services to homeless guests. The target population served by the FSI is homeless and chronic homeless individuals in the Greater Fall River area, a majority of whom have untreated mental health and substance use disorders. These individuals are often unable to escape the cycle of homelessness due to untreated mental health and substance use disorders, trauma, and other chronic health conditions.
The overall goal of the FSI is to address these disparities within our target population through comprehensive case management while stabilizing their health with daily nutritious meals and safe shelter. Residents are screened at entry for mental health and substance use disorder symptoms, as well as other medical conditions, by a case manager who helps them develop an individual treatment plan.
During their stay at the FSI, case managers assist each client with making and attending appointments with treatment and primary healthcare providers and enrolling in mainstream resource benefits. Residents have access to on-site groups for recovery and relapse prevention, trauma recovery, nutrition and meal planning, family and parenting, anger management, and more.
The staff at FSI work closely with dozens of local providers which give residents access to things like onsite medical care, educational and vocational programming, basic computer skills training, and job search and placement assistance. Specific deliverables of the shelter include providing each guest with daily on-site meals, supported referrals to substance abuse and mental health treatment and primary health and dental care, assistance with enrolling in mainstream resource benefits and health insurance, on-site recovery and education groups, and housing placement and stabilization.

Meeting a need in the community

Since 2003, Steppingstone has operated the First Step Inn emergency homeless shelter to provide warm nutritious daily meals and safe shelter to homeless persons in Fall River. The FSI originally provided 20 beds and operated for many year on North Main Street before demand for shelter increased rapidly in the years after the 2008 recession. Each winter, FSI staff would coordinate with local church volunteers to set up makeshift satellite shelters for the dozens of homeless individuals who could not be accommodated at the FSI after all 20 beds filled up.
Steppingstone teamed up with local banks, government officials, foundations and other stakeholders to raise over $4 million to acquire and renovate a building in downtown Fall River capable of housing 50 beds to meet this demand. The shelter opened last year and provides a one-stop, comprehensive service system that works to meet the basic needs of guests while helping them receive healthcare and locate permanent housing.
Steppingstone Inc. Executive Director Kathleen Schedler-Clark said this generous grant has the potential to impact many lives and continue the ongoing efforts Steppingstone has committed to helping the community.

“It is through the generosity of foundations like the Cordeiro Family that we are able to maintain the First Step Inn. We are grateful for this grant and the positive ways it will affect the community,” she said

Staff at Steppingstone’s First Step Inn were presented with a check from the Anthony F. Cordeiro Charitable Foundation to help fund the homeless shelter located at 134 Durfee St. in Fall River.