Homeless shelter asking people to sign contracts in order to find jobs

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People that come to the Water Street Mission in Lancaster need help, but they’re not going to get a handout. “We’re not enabling them, creating a place where people think they can hole up and not worry about where to eat or sleep cause it’s all taken care of. We really want to help them take those next steps forward,” said the mission’s new President Jack Crowley.

Crowley said it all starts with a signed contract. "It's a tool that allows us to have accountability in the relationship so we can say how are you doing? Have you made your appointments? Did you finish writing your resume and have you reached out to these employers," said Crowley. The contracts are customized to the individual and can last anywhere from a few weeks to three months. Some put more emphasis on getting a job and others focus on psychological goals like identifying and treating certain mental disorders.

"This place has been very helpful, it saved my life," said Barry Haywood who's a testament to the success of the contracts. Haywood signed one last year when he could barely move due to a bad back. Now he's no longer homeless and working for the mission, which helped him get the back surgery he so desperately needed. "This place and God turned my life around. Now I'm a better person. My family loves me more. I just went home to see my family and my brother started crying when he saw what good condition I'm in," said Haywood. Empowering people to better themselves, it's a plan that's working at Water Street Mission.

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