We are thrilled, exhausted, exhilarated, frustrated, and often just plain happy to work with SafeHome families through the complex steps to help them build skills, confidence in themselves and housing stability. Nothing is ever easy; all steps are not always forward. The housing market is the tightest it has ever been since we launched SafeHome in 2005, and wages or hours remain pitifully low. But our determination to build the record and experience through SafeHome as a model for all Philadelphia anti-homelessness efforts has never flagged because of the support we have received from so many sectors of our community. Thank You!
In 1998, I first heard Tanya Tull speak about “Housing First”, and I was just blown away. For a growing number of years, I was increasingly uneasy with policies created in DC or Harrisburg or City Hall because they were unintentionally making homelessness an “acceptable condition” in our society while simultaneously institutionalizing an expensive system which was centered on the maintenance of homelessness, not its eradication. Her keen insight again reminds us in August of painful challenges homeless children will face in a week or so….phyllis ryanjackson
Summer is drawing to a close – and school is starting up in communities across the country. I can’t help but think about the hundreds and thousands of children and youth who will be enrolling in new schools, away from friends and teachers they have known, simply because they have lost the housing they were in at school’s end last June. For some, relatives or friends with whom they had been staying temporarily have asked them to “move on,” and so they have – to shelters, to motels, to other relatives or friends – or parents have dispersed their children among various relatives who can take a child or two, but not the entire family. The good news is that the entire homeless services system for families with children is slowly beginning to turn around, partly because the “housing first” approach makes better sense than “services first,” but also because a transformation of the Continuum of Care to this approach is now mandated by the HEARTH Act. For a great overview of how and why “housing first” has emerged to the forefront, I recommend this article recently published in Shelterforce (Spring 2012), a publication of the National Housing Institute – “Housing First”.
As many people know, Beyond Shelter is credited with development of the first “housing first” program in the country - in 1988. Over the next 15 years, we worked proactively to both test and refine the basic methodology as pertains to ending family homelessness – and to share the basic model across the country. We are deeply grateful to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (www.naeh.org) for both supporting our early efforts and then taking up the fight to promote systems change on a national scale.
Partnering for Change is an evolution of Beyond Shelter’s Institute for Research, Training & Technical Assistance. With years of experience behind us, we are dedicated to assisting organizations in learning more about the “nuts and bolts” of Housing First for families, particularly for those with multiple problems, including families who have been labeled “chronically homeless.” We will be conducting introductory webinars on Housing First periodically during the year – and will also modify the basic presentation to meet local needs, upon request. Meanwhile, we invite you to register for the next introductory webinar on Housing First, to be conducted on September 5, 2012, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Standard Time. For more information and to register, please go to workshops/training.
NEW DAY: While we are extremely proud that Safe Home was named one of nine models in the country for implementing the Housing First strategy, we also strive to improve the model. A new aspect of Safe Home is that families now participate in the Ready To Rent training created by a group of the same name in Oregon. Housing Advocate Mark Vrooman is certified as a trainer; this six hour training covers everything you need to know to be a responsible and smart tenant. At the same time, Family Advocate Deanna Marshall works with the families to create a living,breathing budget. Families check their own credit, housing and other histories in anticipation of the research that landlords’ may conduct.
NEW FUNDER: Board member Christopher Hogg has recruited his business associates to form The Mint Foundation which has contributed $25,000 to cover the direct housing costs for ten families. They have committed, as well, to a future grant for the same purpose. We really could not be more grateful.
We must repeat some important financial facts about homeless families: a homeless shelter stay for one year for one family costs $35,000. SafeHome is a much smarter investment. We know this and are determined to make housing, not shelter, the response to anyone living in unfit and seriously overcrowded conditions. The cost to children is too high: homelessness makes them sicker, sadder and slower. We can do better.
Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness, would like to thank the Temple University Chapel of Alpha Tau Omega for raising money and collecting clothing to help those’s who are in need, on April 26 and 27. We would very much thank you for your loving and caring.
Alpha Tau Omega will be collecting over 200 pieces of clothing Thursday April 26, from 8am to Friday April 27 until 2pm. The collection of the clothing will be donated to those living less fortunate than us and hopefully it will go along way towards making their life a little better. Alpha Tau Omega – Temple University and Akl Temple giving a helping hand to make to make all this possible. Please come out and show your support to help end homelessness, by bring clothes and donation down to the Bell Towers at Temple University. Or you can just Click the donate button!
The may poker tournament is in the works right now , keep checking back with us for more info.
We at PCEH/Safe Home, would like to thank everyone who was apart of the poker tournament. We would like to send our love and thanks to all the players and donors for all your loving part in the events, back in November. We also would love to thank those who bought holidays card, back in November and December, please continue to keep buying these cards so we can keep housing families. Finally, thank you too all the people who do not come to any of the events or buy holidays, but take the time and money to send donation in. People don’t forget we have a Facebook and twitter page, add us as a friend or follow us.