HOMEFRONT PLANS FOR NEW FAMILY CAMPUS
Extraordinary possibilities can now become realities for homeless and vulnerable families in Mercer County. HomeFront has acquired, at no cost, an 8.5-acre decommissioned Naval base in Ewing Township, which includes a 42,000 sq. ft. building and two smaller structures.
This good fortune could not have come at a more opportune time. The State of New Jersey is preparing to sell the property where HomeFront's Family Preservation Center is located. Over the past decade, this short-term residential safe haven for 40 homeless mothers and their children has offered refuge, support and hope for over 1,800 families.
Rather than facing the prospect of HomeFront itself becoming homeless, this new property will allow us to create a leading-edge, one-stop social service campus. At this time, we are concentrating on the main building, where we will:
This is just the start of our vision for this new approach to social services. With the additional buildings and spacious grounds, we have a long-term plan that includes a diaper bank, more hands-on vocational training and a program to increase civic engagement. But we need the help of a caring community to create this warm and nurturing village of healing and hope for homeless families and a new, permanent "home" for HomeFront for years to come.
Your Chance To Change the World (click here to donate)
ABC Covers Wall-Breaking Ceremony
For homeless and vulnerable children in our community, summer too often means facing dangerous streets, not having enough food to eat, suffering significant summer “learning loss” and missing out on lots of summer fun.
Hard economic times have increased the number of families coming to HomeFront for help and decreased the funding for our services. We are turning to you to give homeless children the best summer of their lives.
Our stellar summer programming includes recreational activities, academic enrichment and eight weeks of free, safe and fun summer camp. Can you sponsor a homeless child for camp this summer?
One child, one week – $135.
GIVING HOMELESS FAMILIES A SAFE PLACE
HOMEFRONT’S “CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONS”
In the U.S., an astonishing 1.7 million children are homeless. That is one out of every 45 children in our community.
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:
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
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.
Yet 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!
Trenton Thunder Honors HomeFront and Plays Catch with Our Campers
Trenton Thunder honored HomeFront during their HOPE Week at last Friday night’s game. Read more
Over 725 Books Read in HomeFront's Summer Reading Program
Thirty-three children in our Summer Reading Program read over 725 books! We couldn't be prouder of the kids, their moms and Miss Melva Moore, HomeFront's Educational Excellence Director, who made it all happen. Read more
New Family Campus Makes News on Comcast Newsmakers
Comcast's Jill Horner speaks with Connie Mercer, CEO of the Homefront, about New Family Campus and other Opportunities.
Trenton Times Editorial: HomeFront makes a SPLASH in Delaware River Lessons
August 4, 2014, The lessons of the Delaware River are legion. Experiencing the river not as scenery but a channel and a route to the wide world can widen the imagination. Read more
Shop AmazonSmile and Help HomeFront
Did you know that you can now help homeless families every time you shop online at Amazon? Read more
NJM Insurance Group Announces Cornerstone Gift for HomeFront's New Family Campus
NJM Insurance Group President Bernie Flynn joined NJM staff in creating a magical day for HomeFront's summer campers. Read more
Author, Vouches for Importance of Summer Camps
Regina Calcaterra, memoir author, knows about homelessness because she was homeless. In her book, Etched in Sand, she recounts the harsh conditions from which she not only survived, but grew strong and hugely successful. Read more
NJTV Reports on Homeless Numbers in Mercer County
Click here to view NJTV's coverage homeless numbers in Mercer County. Chronic numbers drop due to support programs and services offered. Read more
Cherry Tree Club Proudly Sends Preschoolers to Kindergarten
We have proudly graduated our rising kindergarteners and wish them success in the next chapter of school! Because of the increase in homelessness, we are lovingly serving dozens of additional kids.
Special Bar Mitzvah Project Make Big Difference
A special thank you to Jared Fraticelli who has raised $2,400 as part of his Bar Mitzvah project. Read more
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
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
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
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.