Wanted to write a quick update on our new Rapid Re-housing initiative and how it's been going so far. I'm pleased to report that in the short time we've been doing this (21 days!) we have moved....drum roll please....7 adults and 11 children out of cars, emergency shelters, and the woods to their own apartments!!!! Signing leases and having people hug you because they finally have a stable place to lay their head is so unbelievably fun and very rewarding.
A big part of this project is continuing to provide case management and supports to these families in their homes so we have 2 staff members dedicated to making home visits to continue working with these clients to help them increase their income, make sure kiddos have what they need, and connect them with additional community resources.
A need: Since most of these families are starting out with nothing we are seeingincreased need for household items: dishes, plates, silverware, pots, pans, towels, hangers, beds, furniture, chairs...etc. We give each of these families a 'household starter kit' of cleaning supplies but we don't have the other items to give. We are working on some local partnerships with area agencies so that will help but please keep us in mind next time you clean out your cabinets. :)
Our Rapid Re-Housing Program empowers individuals and families experiencing homelessness to move into housing quickly. Assistance may include: rental deposits; short/medium term rental payments; utility deposits; and extensive case management services. Our Housing Case Managers work closely with clients to develop and implement a service plan to ensure they remain housed and can access other resources. Through this program, clients are stabilized in housing and assisted comprehensively to help ensure they do not face homelessness again. For more information, please click here.
Domestic violence is often a contributor or cause of homelessness. Escaping abusive situations means leaving the residence where the abuse is occurring and sometimes victims are unable to find shelter through friends, family or available community resources. Understanding the challenges of being homeless, and the statistics about homelessness and domestic violence, may help encourage victims to plan how they leave, when they leave, what circumstances they leave under and where they go, as this article explains.
- Approximately 50% of all women who are homeless report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.
- 84% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
- 33% of homeless women have been victims of severe assault by their current or most recent intimate partner.
- By age 12, 83% of homeless children have been exposed to at least one serious violent event and nearly 25% have witnessed acts of violence within their families.
- Mothers experiencing homelessness have three times the rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (36%) and twice the rate of drug and alcohol dependence (41%).
- About 50% of mothers experienced a major depressive episode since becoming homeless. They have ulcers at four times the rate of other women.
We are working with a client who lives here:
We just admitted a family with 3 children who have been living in a barn. All 3 kids had no shoes or clothes. We are in desperate need of:
- Boy (age 10) clothes size 8 - 10, shoe size 3 1/2
- Girl (age 11) clothes size 14-16, shoe size ladies 7 1/2
- Girl (age 7) clothes size 6, shoe size 12-13. (This little girl is also sad that they had to leave behind her boas and dress up clothes so any dress-up stuff is welcome too.
Every January homeless service providers across the country are tasked by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct a census of people experiencing homelessness. The data is reported to Congress and provides an overview of the homelessness in the region, state, and the country as a whole. They call this census 'Point in Time' (as in, 'on any given point in time there are ____ number of people experiencing homelessness') and last year in our region, there were 463 total people experiencing homelessness and 112 of them were children. Homelessness isn't always visible - especially child and family homelessness - so many people are surprised to hear that number is so high. The good news is, the numbers are going down thanks to our community of service providers working together to end homelessness for good. Click here to see the full report.
We have a fundraising luncheon coming up THIS THURSDAY, May 18th and we would love to see you there. There's only a few tickets left so please consider purchasing one today...All proceeds support the work we are doing to end homelessness. Enjoy a delicious lunch at City Club, possibly win a prize or 2, and hear the entertaining George Graham talk about food, Louisiana culture, and maybe even his experience competing on the Food Network!
Thanks to our supporters: Paul's Jewelry and Acadiana Profile Magazine.
It's not good.
Got a call from a lady yesterday that was living here:
so our outreach team hopped in the van and found Ms. Gina. She had very few belongings and the first question she asked us was if we had food at the shelter. Food. Yes Ms. Gina - we have all the food you want. She's been staying here for several days and was scared, tired, and hungry. We are providing her with a warm, safe place to lay her head while we work on finding her a permanent home of her own. This is not adequate housing for any human.