In our Quality Homes and Quality Jobs Initiatives, we are mentors to both our tenants and our QJI crew members. We offer a hand up — not a handout — as they work, go to school, and grow personally. Our goal is always to break generational cycles of poverty.
Coalfield shows tenants and job trainees that a world they may have believed never possible is indeed within reach. This is done through a number of ways:
Mentorship and counseling: Coalfield staff recently came across a definition of a mentor that struck a chord with them: “a nurturer of possibilities.” Oftentimes, tenants and crew members have lived in generational poverty where they function under the assumption that the possibility for a better life is a small or nonexistent one. By offering mentorship and one-on-one sessions that are tailored to the needs of each tenant and crew member, we hope to help them see that the possibilities for a better life are endless.
Life Skills Courses: Coalfield performs evaluations with tenants and crew members and does these according to 24 criteria—12 personal and 12 professional. In order to assist tenants and crew members in meeting these criteria and growing as individuals, life skills courses that are focused on these criteria are held once each week. Each month focuses on one personal and one professional criterion. We attempt to pair criteria that will cumulatively have the most impact together on the tenants and crew members. For example, during the month that focuses on both physical health and safety, tenants and crew members take cooking, yoga, and CPR classes. Below is the life skills calendar that Coalfield uses, with each criterion listed.
• January: Professional theme: Safety / Personal theme: Physical Health
• February: Professional theme: Initiative / Personal theme: Citizenship
• March: Professional theme : Problem Solving / Personal theme: Lifelong Learning
• April: Professional theme : Attitude / Personal theme : Emotional Health
• May: Professional theme: Leadership / Personal theme: Regulation of Emotion
• June: Professional theme: Teamwork / Personal theme: Tolerance
• July: Professional theme: Communication / Personal theme : Life Management
• August: Professional theme: Dependability / Personal theme: Long-range View Decision-Making
• September: Professional theme: Work Quality / Personal theme: Volition
• October: Professional theme : Promptness / Personal theme : Grit
• November: Professional theme : Respect / Personal theme : Care for Others
• December: Professional theme : Follows Instructions / Personal theme : Integrity and Honesty
Retreats: We want tenants and crew members to strive for career and educational excellence, but it is important to take a step back and enjoy time together while also learning important life lessons. Every season, a retreat is held for tenants and crew members. Typically, it is an outdoor activity targeted at getting everyone out of their comfort zone while also having fun. Activities that encourage teamwork are often selected. Examples of previous retreats include a whitewater rafting trip and a tour of Organ Caves in Ronceverte, WV.