Our program featured Jeffrey Poch who is the Executive Director of Safe Harbor in Easton. His journey to his position began 15 years ago when alcohol and drug abuse left him homeless. He originally came to the organization as a client. He found solace in a Monday night men’s group and wound up staying and serving Safe Harbor in a variety of roles. He became the Executive Director 5 years ago and is gladly giving back what was given to him.
The residential program can house up to 48 people, 20 men and 28 women. Veterans are particularly welcome. The hope is to foster lifelong success and stability in homeless men and women by addressing the root cause of their homelessness. Addiction is often a symptom rather than a cause. Mental health issues are prevalent. Many are suffering from some sort of underlying trauma. It can take many weeks to build enough trust to unearth these traumas.
ARISE is a three-phase behavioral modification program that is built into the shelter program. Phase one classes include core life skills, self-discovery, and employment skills. Phase two includes resume building, job searches, and applying for eligible housing programs. Phase three is the foundation for a resident’s transition to outside housing.
Homelessness is not as evident in Easton as it might be in a large city. Homeless people tend to hide from view. Many are afraid of being abused. Safe Harbor gives the residents a place where each person’s dignity is acknowledged. The Staff work to build a community which prepares each individual to be a positive member of the greater community.