Initiative’s homeless services program begins with the recognition that helping families permanently overcome poverty and homelessness requires a meaningful investment of time and resources. Through a combination of safe, stable housing and the sustained guidance and support of caring professionals, Initiative’s clients gradually address the issues contributing to their instability and build the foundation of skills, self-confidence, and hope needed to navigate the difficulties of life.
Most families arrive at Initiative after extended periods of housing insecurity—often traumatized, exhausted, and with few personal belongings. Once families are accepted into Initiative’s program, they immediately receive family-appropriate housing in our community apartment complexes, furniture and housewares to establish their homes, and financial assistance to meet basic needs for the duration of the program. Families make a commitment to work diligently with social work staff to address their barriers to success. In turn, Initiative commits to support families long-term through their accomplishments and setbacks. During the first year, the family is stabilized and important milestones are reached:
- a healthy household environment is established with adequate food, clothing, and healthcare
- children are enrolled in consistent childcare, school, and/or afterschool programs
- the family establishes an emotional support network and addresses any mental health concerns
- an individualized action plan is developed with Initiative social work staff
- the family meets weekly with social workers to monitor progress and address new challenges
- reliable transportation is secured
- the client secures employment and begins to address outstanding debt
- the client identifies achievable employment goals and begins to address education/training gaps
For social work services to be most effective, families must be able to rely on a stable home and the resources to meet their essential needs until they are able to assume these responsibilities for themselves. With the help of our donors and partners, Initiative commits to provide this foundation for families as an investment in their future.