This program serves families that are currently experiencing homelessness and have at least one child under the age of 18 living with them. The program offers safe accommodations, meals, clothing, and individualized family coaching, empowering families with the resources and encouragement they need to find affordable housing and develop life skills essential for maintaining stability.
Our family coaches offer intensive support in setting and working toward individual goals in the following areas: Finances, Parenting, Transportation, Health, and Housing.
- Health includes enrolling in health insurance , securing primary care physicians, and addressing outstanding physical and mental health issues.
- Finance includes addressing debt, improving credit scores, and establishing a realistic budget.
- Parenting includes securing affordable child care and services as needed and supporting parents in learning how to communicate effectively with schools and care providers.
- Transportation includes establishing a reliable means for transport to employment and school locations, and assisting parents in purchasing and maintaining a personal vehicle if needed.
- Housing includes looking for affordable apartments in their community of choice, developing a move-out plan and budget, and developing good tenancy skills for the future.
Our approach to coaching is grounded in the belief that our families can move themselves out of poverty permanently if they identify the root causes of their homelessness and set realistic goals to address them. To work toward long-term sustainability, we require our families to be employed and save 80% of their income after expenses.
Our shelter first opened in 2008 and, until the onset of the pandemic in 2020, was hosted by 19 multi-faith congregations that converted their classrooms into bedrooms 3-4 weeks per year. Volunteers from an additional 31 congregations, businesses, schools, and the community at large provided meals, overnight staffing, and supportive companionship, surrounding our families with a community dedicated to their success.
As the pandemic receded and we evaluated our options moving forward, we made the decision to convert our Day Center into a permanent-site shelter to house our families. After several months of renovation to bring this idea to fruition, our new shelter opened in June of 2022. Volunteers from our congregational network now come on site to provide meals and companionship, keeping these volunteers engaged in our families' journey back to sustainability and into homes of their own.