Prevention / Emergency Help
In our many years of working with families impacted by poverty, HomeFront has learned an important lesson – the value of preventing homelessness. Historically, services for families experiencing homelessness have focused on meeting their immediate needs – necessities like shelter, food, and clothing. While we continue to provide these basic needs, we have recognized and accepted the more profound challenge of a long-range approach to preventing homelessness.
How do we identify at-risk families and intervene before povertys drastically worsens their situation? This may well be the challenge of our next thirty years – but HomeFront has already taken beginning steps in this direction.
We address the problems that cause families to become – and stay – homeless. Our case management team works with each family specific to their situation and assists by finding support for the numerous issues that can lead to poverty and homelessness. We teach families how to raise their children in a positive, healthy environment. We assist parents in proper job training and life skills courses, with substance abuse healthcare, and childcare through our Atkinson Childcare Center or our Joy, Hopes, and Dreams program. We work to ensure that the next generation starts life at the starting line, not behind it. This goes far beyond addressing housing and food insecurity. Poverty and homelessness can be a generational issue, but providing education, employment, health, and success will likely pass down as well.
More immediately, to keep at-risk families from a housing crisis and to stabilize their future living situations, we provide emergency funds for back rent and security deposits in conjunction with intensive case management. Last year, over 200 families received emergency housing assistance to keep them in their homes or to pay security deposits to acquire decent housing.