Our Case Management services play a crucial role in helping homeless families become stable again. Families are not only linked to many community resources, but also they are required to participate in workshops, classes, and programs – thus beginning the hard work of changing behaviors that have been barriers to stability. Mandatory participation in courses offered by Cara y Corazón is one of these requirements.
The Watsonville Cara y Corazón affiliate regularly offers an 8-12 weeks support program in which the Shelter’s resident families are required to participat. It is based on the work of Jerry Tello, an internationally recognized authority in family strengthening, therapeutic healing, cross cultural issues, and motivational speaking.
The philosophy of Cara y Corazón is a culturally-based family strengthening approach that assists parents and other members of the extended family to raise and educate their children from a positive bicultural base. Many bicultural families in our community face the challenges of bridging two cultures when parents have grown up in a Hispanic culture and the children are growing up in an American culture.
Cara y Corazón offers a course in Spanish and one in English. In their sessions, participants speak about their upbringing: the hard parts and the good parts. They re-engage with the important aspects of their lives, their values, family traditions, and holiday rituals. Many of the PVSS residents have reported that being able to discuss things they could not before has been a great experience. They find new ways of developing quality time with their children and find forgiveness for hurtful times in their lives. After taking this course, many PVSS residents, both men and women, have commented about being able to better discuss their emotions and deep wounds in their lives, as well as begin the healing process. They have expressed the ability to feel the warmth of family in ways they could not before. All these steps are part of the path to personal and family stability for residents in the Pajaro Valley Shelter Services programs.