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

Families Overcoming Challenges Utilizing Support (FOCUS)

The FOCUS Program provides temporary emergency shelter, diversion services, case management, and stabilization services to families in southeastern Mass. who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.

Family in front of house
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: The FOCUS Program assists families experiencing homelessness and families at risk of homelessness to obtain housing through support, education, and empowerment.
Age: All
Gender: All
Capacity: Varies
Accessing this service
Referrals to this program are given by DHCD. We serve Bristol County, which includes New Bedford, Fall River, Attleboro, Taunton, and surrounding communities.
Let's Connect
Bonnie Paiva
Director of Housing Services
Fall River, MA 02720
(508) 617-4359
APPROACH:

FOCUS supports families by utilizing a collaborative, strength-based approach. Once placement is made, stabilization services are put in place to support the family to maintain housing.

SERVICES:

FOCUS encompasses a temporary emergency shelter program (congregate and scattered site apartments) and a stabilization program. Our shelter program sites are located throughout Bristol County. These sites are funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Additionally, FOCUS includes the HomeBASE program, which is administered in conjunction with South Shore Housing Development Corporation (SSHDC) and funded by DHCD.

SHELTER CASE MANAGEMENT AND STABILIZATION:

We coordinate school placement, daycare, medical needs, mental health resources, education and job training referrals, CORI assistance, credit, legal, budgeting, and life skills.

HOUSING PLACEMENT: We develop re-housing plans by providing education and job training referrals, landlord/tenant mediation advocacy for families at housing court, and transportation specifically for housing search-related appointments.

DIVERSION AND PREVENTION: We assist eligible families to remain stably housed or secure affordable housing to divert families from entering the shelter system. We assist Emergency Assistance (EA) families with available prevention services and resources to increase stabilization.

HOMEBASE PROGRAM: We offer time-limited assistance designed to provide alternative solutions to families who are at serious risk of homelessness or families residing in DHCD Emergency Assistance (EA) shelters or motels. The type of assistance is based on the individual needs of a family, which will be determined through an assessment.

SER Jobs for Progress, Inc. workforce development and FOCUS with funding provided by South Shore Housing Development Corporation and DHCD are operating a workforce-development initiative assisting families to obtain and sustain jobs.

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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