Prevention / Emergency Help
In our many years of working with homeless families, HomeFront has learned an important lesson – the value of preventing homelessness. Historically, services for the homeless have focused on their immediate needs – shelter, food and clothing, the necessities of life. While we still make every effort to provide these necessities, 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 the catastrophe of homelessness drastically worsens the situation? This may well be the challenge of our next twenty years – and HomeFront has already taken beginning steps in this direction.
We address the problems that cause families to become – and stay – homeless. It means addressing issues like substance abuse, education, employment and a host of others. It means teaching families how to raise their children in a positive, healthy environment – and making it possible for them to do so. It means ensuring that the next generation starts life at the starting line – not behind it. It means giving them access to higher education, employment, a positive and stable social and family life. It goes far beyond addressing housing and hunger.
Poverty and homelessness pass from generation to generation, but so do education, employment, health and success.
More immediately, to keep at-risk families from becoming homeless and to help them stabilize their future living situations, we provide emergency funds for back rent, security deposits and utilities in conjunction with intensive case management. If necessary, we provide a temporary emergency residence and employment-skills training and one-to-one help with job searching and job interviews.
Last year, 220 families received emergency housing assistance to keep them in their homes or to pay security deposits to acquire decent housing.