Survivors of domestic violence must achieve independence and self-sufficiency so that they do not return to an abusive relationship out of economic necessity. 

In House of the Good Shepherd’s Learning Center, women received training in computer skills, reading proficiency, basic English and math, and, if needed, English as a second language and preparation for the GED exam. 

Participants also learned practical skills that will help them to apply for and keep a job, such as how to compose a resume, interview for a job, and remain successful once employed. 

Women who completed our program in 2011 arrived having completed the 10th grade on average.  They took the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) pre-tests and post-tests, and after study in our Learning Center achieved an average 18.8% improvement between their pre-test and post-test scores. 

In computer keyboard proficiency, the women typed an average of 14.2 words per minute on their pre-tests and 25 words per minute on post-tests, for an average 57% improvement in their scores. 

Our Spanish-speaking residents study English as a second language both in the Learning Center and with our volunteer ESL tutor who works with them individually twice a week.  In their ESL studies, women who completed the program in 2011 scored an average of 38.67 on ESL pre-tests and 60.56 on post-tests, for an average 63.9% improvement in their scores. 

Understanding budgeting and money management skills is critical to a woman’s reaching self-sufficiency.  Participants in House of the Good Shepherd’s program set up a budgeting plan and maintain in-house checking and savings accounts.  We ask that the women save 35% of their income during their stay.  The average amount saved by all women who had an income and who completed the program last year was $1,070.  With these savings and the basic economic expertise she has gained, a mother is better prepared to support herself and her family after leaving House of the Good Shepherd

[1] Most women with an income receive public aid, and some receive child support or social security payments.