Helping Others Make the Effort

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Issues: Human Services

Location: 924 Determination Way Kissimmee FL 34741 USA

Mission: HOME: breaking the cycle of homelessness in Osceola County
Results: • 756 unduplicated families were served by HOMELite, which provides information, referral, and case management services • 99 Life-skills courses were offered to get families the skills they need to succeed • 94 people were served by our residential program (29 adults and 64 kids, up from 68 in 2008) • 93 percent of exiting residential clients increased their self-sufficiency rating score with an average increase of .70 • 87 percent increased their income with an average increase of $382 per month • 54 people were served by HOMEBase, our scattered site program, in 2009 (16 adults and 38 children) • 22 families were prevented from becoming homeless by receiving help with first month’s rent or eviction prevention
Target demographics: Homeless women and children in Osceola County
Geographic areas served: Osceola County
Programs: The Story of Homelessness in Osceola County— Each morning over 900 children wake-up in a motel room to catch a bus that will take them to school. They will go to class, not knowing what tomorrow holds, where they will do their homework, what time their parent will be home, even not knowing when they will have a good meal after lunch. But, how did these children become homeless? Osceola County’s tourism industry is our double-edged sword: it attracts revenue and stimulates growth, but at the same time is kept alive by service-based jobs that keep many families on the edge. Families may have experienced a crisis such as illness or lack of transportation that caused them to lose their permanent housing. As a result, they seek housing at the motels along the main east-west thoroughfare of US-192, which is convenient to service jobs, the bus line, and other necessities. Unfortunately, once families move into pay by the week motels, they are unable to save enough money to move to permanent housing. These motels lack kitchen facilities, adequate space for children to complete schoolwork, and often have no safe recreation space. If the earner in the family becomes ill, has no transportation, or loses their job, these families will be just days away from living on the street. With just a little support and a decent place to live, we can empower these women to become self-sufficient and improve their family’s well-being. ••• HOME Services— Helping Others Make the Effort (HOME) is working to break the cycle of homelessness by providing housing and life skills to homeless women and their children. HOME offers four distinct program options, dependent on the individual family’s need and housing urgency. HOME Residential Program- HOME’s residential campus is our signature program. HOME has fifteen apartment units where homeless families reside while participating in on-site life skills training, counseling, and intensive case management. The program can take up to 18 months to complete, on average. Upon graduation, clients will move to independent housing in the community and will receive post-placement case management. HOMELite- HOMELite provides case management and life skills education to clients who are not in urgent need of housing but could greatly benefit from HOME’s life skills education component. The curriculum, which is delivered in various settings (such as in or near motels where clients reside), is designed to boost financial literacy, employability, and housing stability. HOMEBase- HOMEBase works to identify and place families into housing units available on the open market. Once families are placed, HOME provides case management and some financial assistance. Clients are admitted to HOMEBase either by graduating from the residential program or by completing 60 days of HOMELite and rating high enough on the self sufficiency scale that the client will be successful in scattered site housing with minimal supervision. This program serves families who have a low housing urgency and low services need but will not thrive or become totally independent without housing assistance. HOMEFast- This program, provides case management and emergency funding for families experien

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