The WCA’s direct client services program operates a shelter clients store that is located on-site at the emergency shelter, Serena’s House. It is premised upon the concept of a token society wherein individuals earn tokens that may be utilized to buy goods in the store, i.e. dishes, flatware, pots and pans, blankets, child-related items and more. To earn these tokens, clients choose to participate in program activities designed to promote healing and to enhance knowledge. The tokens act as reinforcers; they have no intrinsic value but may be accumulated and exchanged for desired and needed goods, particularly as clients get close to their exit date. All items in the store are new and are made possible by a caring community that donates goods to benefit WCA clients. Our clients have varying needs and one of great importance is the ability to establish an independent and violence-free life for themselves and their children. Lack of resources is a barrier for many trying to leave an abusive relationship and may be equally so for many trying to make it on their own. The WCA’s token society program, along with the support of the community, provides a holistic and effective approach to aid clients in their journey toward self-determination.
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