HomeFront: helping families break the cycle of poverty
 
The homeless problem is smaller than you think.

The homeless problem in Mercer County is smaller than you think.

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HomeFront

STOP HUNGER NOW
Most of us don't know what real hunger feels like. But people in our community - many of them children - know first-hand that hunger is physically painful.

Stop Hunger Now!At HomeFront, we see hunger every day - lines of families, which sometimes stretch the length of a block, waiting to collect a bag of donated groceries.

We have joined forces with the anti-hunger Feinstein Foundation. During March/April each dollar or food item contributed will help us receive additional funds to fight hunger in our own community.

You can help in several ways:

  • Shop on-line at our virtual grocery store. Remember, we buy at wholesale prices so we multiply your dollar.
  • Donate food. You can drop off donated food at our offices at 1880 Princeton Avenue, Lawrencevile. Please use our reporting form if you plan to drop off food.
  • Hold a food drive. Learn how by reading our tip sheet. You can also print out posters to use in your food drive. Use our reporting form when your drive is complete and you are ready to drop off your food collection.
  • Volunteer. Help us with collection and reporting. Call 609-989-9417 ext. 133 for more information.

Together, we can end hunger.

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GIVING HOMELESS FAMILIES A SAFE PLACE
TO GO AND TO GROW

On any given day in Mercer County there are more than 1,800 homeless people. More than half are families with young children. In fact, the average age of a HomeFront client is seven years old. These children's parents are not looking for handouts. Most are dedicated, hard-working and sometimes holding down two or three jobs, yet they still can't afford the county's cheapest housing. HomeFront provides each family what they need most. First is always a place to call home, then groceries, job skills, childcare, academic support for mom and kids – whatever it takes to be safe and secure.

HOMEFRONT’S “CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONS”
CREATE BRIGHTER FUTURES

In the U.S., an astonishing 1.7 million children are homeless. That is one out of every 45 children in our community.

Picture of boy

Homelessness and poverty can cycle from generation to generation but so can education, stability and success. "The key to changing this cycle are the children – helping homeless children was the reason HomeFront started over 20 years ago and these children remain a major focus," explains Connie Mercer, executive director. "We must create a new cycle of hope and productivity for these kids."

HomeFront offers a wide range of children’s support programs: tutoring, recreation, health, nutrition, positive social contact and exposure to the surrounding world. Our goal is to ensure that homelessness does not derail a child’s future and that our children grow into young people able to reach their fullest potential.

Homelessness hurts children:

  • Children who are homeless suffer from hunger, poor physical and emotional health and missed educational opportunities.
  • Children who are homeless are twice as likely to go hungry as are children who are not homeless.
  • Homeless children are more likely to have acute and chronic health problems and less access to medical and dental care.
  • Homeless children have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems, such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, withdrawal and aggression.
  • Children without stable homes are more than twice as likely as others to repeat a school grade, be expelled or suspended or drop out of high school.

    When the Bough Breaks: The Effects of Homelessness on Young Children,
    McCoy-Roth, Mackintosh, Murphey, February 2012

Because of all these facts, HomeFront children’s specialists, our “Children’s Champions,” work tirelessly with children, their parents, schools and the community.

Over the past year, 2,200 children were served by HomeFront; thanks to the extraordinary talents, expertise and fortitude that our Children’s Champions” displayed every day, these young people will have the positive and healthy “growing up” years every child needs and every child deserves.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING
HOMELESS FAMILIES TO BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT

Back to School Basics

Not only does HomeFront provide support services once a family becomes homeless, we also help prevent homelessness whenever possible.

This year HomeFront distributed over $500,000 in back rent, security deposits and utilities to families in crisis and on the brink of facing the horror of homelessness. These funds are carefully administered to families who have no significant issues other than being a tragic victim of the recession or bureaucracy. However, homelessness prevention is about much more than money and keeping the family in a home is only the first step.

For instance, HomeFront helps families navigate the bureaucratic system so they may receive the benefits and supports to which they are entitled. Often families have trouble figuring out where to go or who to call, or for that matter, if they qualify for assistance. Sometimes it’s a coat of fresh paint that will change a landlord’s eviction notice, or other times, it is helping a client tap into the proper social service agency.

947 FamiliesYet another aspect to homelessness prevention is teaching job skills and promoting education so that families can increase their earning power. We make sure families have all essential life-skill components of self-sufficiency – including teaching them how to care for their home ensuring that it’s kept tidy and clean; shopping smart so the family eats healthy and mom prepares nutritious meals; and making sure that children are nurtured academically and socially.

With each client, HomeFront’s goal is the same––to help them through the crisis so they can stay in their home.

Just as vaccines that prevent disease work, so does homelessness prevention. A family’s needs may be challenging, but the end result is a holistic preventive program that keeps families in their home!

NEWS

HomeFront’s Basketball Team Reaches Championship

Congratulations to our home team! While the team did not come home with a trophy, the outcome was still spectacular! Read more

Naked Pizza Makes Valentines Day Special

Naked Pizza in Princeton donated 23 pizzas for the Women's Initiative's Valentine's Day party for the children at our Family Preservation Center. Read more

Dictionary Donation

Every year, the Hamilton Grange generously donates enough dictionaries so that children in our Family Preservation Center tutoring programs can have their very own copies. Read more

2012-13 Annual Report Available

HomeFront's new annual report is now available. It highlights the scope of our work and list the donors who have made the work possible. Read more

Summer Reading Program Huge Success

Twenty-five children read over 670 books this summer reports Melva Moore, HomeFront's Educational Success Director. Read more

Desperately Needed Items!

We need food. Our food pantry shelves are empty as we are experiencing a food shortage. PLEASE HELP! Read more

Get Race Results

Click here for race results!

Poor Kids: Growing Up in Poverty

Take a few worthwhile minutes and view this gripping account of the economic crisis as seen through the eyes of children. Read more

Tyco Helps Families Make a House a Home

Warehouse
Moving into a home is a big first step for homeless families. But it takes a couch to sit on, a table to have meals together and lamps to do homework by--all things that make a house a home. With support from Tyco, HomeFront's Resource Network serves over 3,000 families a year making each home a special place.

Check Out our ArtSpace Web Page

See the art, visit the exhibits and help support our program. (Click here for more information) Read more

We Need Volunteers!

Click here to learn more.

More News...


1880 Princeton Avenue
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
609 989-9417

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