Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

Services

Evolution Independent Living Program

The Evolution Program is an independent living program that is designed to support young adults as they prepare for life in the community. Upon completion of the program the young adults are able to sustain affordable housing, employment, and reach educational goals.

young male budgeting
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: The Evolution program provides community based services these include vocational, educational, and relational skills. The program works to help young adults integrate back into their community in a supportive way.
Age: 18-21
Gender: male, female, transgender, non-conforming
Capacity: Open
Let's Connect
Norma Wallace
Program Director
319 Wilder Street
Lowell, MA 01851
(978) 831-4263
Evolution

The Evolution Program is an Independent Living Apartment Program serving young adults in the Northeast area who are stepping down from Group Care and are ready to begin living on their own. The young adults served have a history of multiple placements, substance abuse, risky behaviors, and trauma. Services provided include assistance in finding an affordable apartment and furnishings, money management support including timely payment of bills, weekly budgeting, and grocery and activity expenses. The program provides support adjusting to independent living with one on one life coaching and mentoring, check ins, unannounced visits, and access to on call staff in emergency situations. The staff work closely with each young adult to develop relationships with medical, dental, psychiatric providers, colleges, and businesses in their local communities. The program strives to teach all the necessary skills a young adult will need to be successful on their own in the future.

One on One Life Skills Coaching

The young adults in the program are provided 7-10 hours of individual coaching depending upon their individual need. The young adults work with their coaches to establish life and treatment goals. Life coaches complete assessments to identify specific skills the young adults already possess and skills they must still learn. Areas of focus include money management/budgeting, resume building and job interviewing/career planning, decision making, educational development and health care.

The Way it Works

Our Independent Living Program is designed to provide youth the skills they will need to successfully transition out of group care. Initially young adults entering the program are provided total financial assistance: rent, utilities, furnishings, food, health care, and recreation. With development of both long and short term goals the young adults assume financial responsibility in steps with the ultimate goal being completely financially stable upon completion of the program.

Stepping Out Services

Young adults who may be ready to live independently but may need more intensive supports may access our Stepping Out Services. This allows us to provide the young adult with increased coaching hours with the addition of a therapuetic mentor. The mentor will work with the young adult in addition to their Life Coach to support them in a successful transition from group care to self sufficiency.

Young female EMT
Evolution changed my life. I was able to find an apartment I loved, became an EMT, and was able to provide for myself in the future......They really cared about me and wanted me to succeed!
Tammy
Community

The Evolution Program works to help young adults form and maintain their community connections. They are encouraged to participate in local events and activities to build relationships within the community. Our young adults work closely with their Life Coach to access community resources such as SNAP Benefits, Fuel Assistance, Community Teamwork Educational Programs, Social Security, Educational Financial Aid, and Mass Health in preparation for them assuming total financial responsibility at the age of 22.

Request More Information

For assistance determining which programs or services will meet your individualized need, please fill out the form below. If you have a question regarding a particular program, please contact the Program Director listed in the “Let’s Connect” box above.

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