EMPOWERING our clients to achieve stability.

We work with community partners to provide enrichment, education, mentoring, support, and housing assistance. Our goal? To position clients in healthy, financially stable, living situations and create permanent changes in the lives of homeless individuals in the Huntsville community. We define and measure this goal as being housed for 2 consecutive years with First Stop follow-up assistance.

Through observations, assessments, and interviews, First Stop has discovered that many lack the tools, skills, education, resources and support needed to sustain independent living. Our Enrichment program is necessary to educate, train, and prepare clients for independent living through self-sufficiency. 

Our 5 Initiatives are designed with the client in mind to set them up for successful, sustainable living outside of the homeless camps:

Man Wearing White Shirt Painting Fence - Enrichment

Many First Stop clients are qualified for, and have obtained financial assistance from, government and private sources. This initiative focuses on assisting these and other clients to gain and retain meaningful work. Within this initiative, First Stop will provide a number of programs to help its clients identify their God-given gifts and talents, to allow them to seek and attain sustainable employment.

  • See the gifts and skills that God has given them.
  • Match their interests and skills with a career path they can sustain in the future.
  • Develop a vocational goal and identify roadblocks.
  • Determine their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify resources they need to be successful on the job.
  • Develop their job skills.
  • Learn how to network, research, locate and secure a job.
  • Learn how to stay employed and advance to higher positions once they have a job.
  • Provide on-the-job training through the Casual Labor Program at First Stop.

Financial empowerment enables people with low incomes to build their financial stability and measurably improve their financial outcomes, such as credit scores and income, saving and debt levels. This, in turn, enhances their access to proven routes out of poverty.

  • Address financial challenges when living near the poverty line.
  • Have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances.
  • Develop and maintain a budget.
  • Create and meet financial goals.
  • Have the capacity to absorb a financial shock.
  • Have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow them to enjoy life.

Lacking a high school diploma or a GED means trying 4 times as hard to find a good job, often with frustrating results. This initiative will connect individuals with the opportunity to close employability gaps.

  • Increase their education whether it is a GED or advanced degree.
  • Achieve technical skill certifications.
  • Become computer literate.
  • Receive tutoring.
  • Develop parenting skills.
  • Develop social/life skills.
The homeless community is at extreme risk of developing infectious diseases as well as acute and chronic health conditions due to lack of or limited access to adequate sanitation facilities, preventive health care, acute care and personal hygiene practices. Through the Health and Hygiene Initiative, First Stop works with partner agencies to educate and empower its clients to better manage their overall health and hygiene.
  • Understand general good hygiene practices.
  • Manage chronic health conditions.
  • Understand healthy nutrition.
  • Secure a primary care physician and receive a physical exam.
  • Learn how to manage their medications.
  • Manage their mental health issues.

First Stop will prepare its clients for all aspects of independent living. These efforts will help increase their housing readiness and housing sustainability.  Some life skills, like being a good roommate/tenant, grocery shopping, cooking, running a home and maintaining social networks, are the skills that are essential for living independently. Helping those experiencing homelessness learn critical life skills can help them move on from homelessness and resettle into the community.

  • Our Case Managers review clients’ prior living circumstances and identify past issues that may have led to evictions.

  •  Connect clients with local social service agencies.


  • A Housing Readiness Review to ensure that individuals are fully prepared for independent living.

As a final way to EMPOWER our clients, and ensure that they successfully maintain independent living, First Stop Case Managers provide two years of supportive services for housed clients. This stage of our Case Management program includes follow-up calls and in-home visits.