Front Door Program provides rapid rehousing and shelter diversion for homeless families
“We will no longer have to turn away families with teenage boys, or families with an active father,” said Sarah’s Hope Director, Sheila Matthews. “This is just another way that St. Vincent de Paul remains innovative in their approach to service delivery taking care to meet the needs of the clients and the issues they face.”
St. Vincent de Paul recently relaunched its successful Front Door Program at Sarah’s Hope, Mount Street, this time including two distinct strategies to rapidly rehouse homeless families, depending on the client’s household configuration and their needs.
The Front Door Program was incorporated at Sarah’s Hope several years ago in response to the increasing number of homeless families, and the increased length of stay of the families in the shelter. The Front Door Program focuses on rapidly re-housing families by providing rental assistance coupled with in-home support services for up to 18 months. Since the inauguration of the Front Door Program, the average length of stay has been reduced from one year to an average of 4-6 months.
The first component of the improved Front Door Program is shelter plus rapid rehousing, in which families stay at Sarah’s Hope for 90 to 120 days. During their stay they receive intensive case management to address barriers to employment and long term sustainability, parenting and finance classes, employment readiness, and assistance in setting up a savings account. Once each family’s goals are met, a determination is made as to the type of housing that is most appropriate to meet their needs.
The second component, shelter diversion and rapid rehousing, addresses families with teenage boys age 13 and older, or with adult males who cannot stay at Sarah’s Hope. These families stay temporarily in motels, while case management and housing staff work intensively with them to place into permanent housing within 30 days. Once housed, families receive rental assistance combined with case management and are eligible to participate in any of the programs provided by Sarah’s Hope.
Through the new Front Door program, St. Vincent de Paul will serve 60 families a year. By making re-housing the central and immediate focus for all families served, the initiative seeks to reduce families’ average length of stay in the shelter thereby reducing the negative impact of homelessness on their lives and increasing the annual numbers of families able to be served. Participants who have completed this program have made substantial progress in increasing their self-sufficiency and re-intergrading with the community.
Sarah's Hope at Hannah More Begins Operation
“Homeless families have been identified as one of the most difficult populations to serve, because they are responsible for the basic needs and care of their dependents,” said Mary Rode, Sr. VP of Program Operations. “Head of households often expend savings and additional resources much more quickly than individuals.”
In November of 2012, St. Vincent de Paul launched Sarah’s Hope at Hannah More, a 24-hour comprehensive homeless shelter for families, located in the Reisterstown community of Baltimore County. Operated in partnership with Baltimore County, Sarah's Hope at Hannah More provides 85 men, women and children with 24-hour comprehensive shelter services tailored to ensure that homeless families regain stability and self-sufficiency. Services at Hannah More are modeled after our successful emergency family shelter in Baltimore City, Sarah’s Hope Mount Street. At Sarah’s Hope, families are provided the resources and opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency and stable housing by: learning life skills, increasing their income through connection to mainstream benefits or employment, addressing addiction and mental health issues through treatment and support, improving their parenting skills, and re-integrating with the community with the support of our rapid rehousing services.
New Growing Minds program helps students build a future for success
This Fall, YouthPlace, our after-school program at St. Ambrose Center, will adopt a new model called "Growing Minds" and will nearly double the number of children it serves when the program moves to Arlington and Martin Luther King elementary/middle schools. Growing Minds is an after-school and summer enrichment program that prepares K-8 students in under resourced, urban communities to achieve success in life using an innovative approach that combines: academics, career exploration and readiness, and social-emotional development.
Research shows that a lack of structured out of school time activities and enrichment experiences results in a significant achievement gap between children from low-income communities and their middle class peers. Growing Minds delivers expanded out of school learning opportunities that close that gap by increasing attendance, reducing disciplinary actions, fostering engagement in learning, and improving test scores and grades.
Students who participate in Growing Minds benefit from hands-on, engaging activities, small-group instruction, a customized curriculum, and targeted cultural enrichment activities. The program features grade appropriate, project-based learning in reading and math that reinforces the common core state standards used by BCPS. It is unique in its integration of academic learning with career exploration and readiness, helping students to make the important connection between school, careers, and life-long success. Students are introduced to future career possibilities and the academic preparation associated with various career choices.
Finally, Growing Minds offers a customized, social-emotional curriculum that is designed to develop five critical social competencies: self- awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
Volunteer tutors are needed!
Volunteers are needed Monday through Thursday from 3:00 – 6:00pm to work with students ages 8 – 13 who attend the after-school program at Arlington Elementary/Middle School and MLK Elementary/Middle School. Volunteers will be placed in classrooms ranging from 4th grade – 8th grades. Volunteers are assigned to a specific classroom.
25 Volunteers are needed each day, five per classroom, at Arlington
25 Volunteers are needed each day, five per classroom, at MLK
Volunteers will make at least a one semester commitment (September to December and/or January to May) and commit to one to two days per week Monday through Thursday from 3:00 – 6:00pm.
- Volunteers should be at least 18
- Volunteers who are under 18 should be at least 16 and have parent permission
- Volunteers must fill out all required paperwork and pass a background screening (if over 18)
Start Date: Monday, September 10, 2012
Douglas Allers, Volunteer Coordinator
410.225.0870, ext. 106
KidzTable Moves Into New Facility
Advancing the movement to change the way children eat
KidzTable, a premier provider of fresh, nutritious meals to children and youth in the greater Baltimore area, is opening its new 10,000 square foot training and production kitchen located in the Hollander Business Park, an enterprise zone on the eastern edge of Baltimore City.
KidzTable provides prepared meals daily to children in schools, pre-schools, day care centers, afterschool programs, and summer camps. With its new expanded, state-of-the-art kitchen facility, KidzTable is expected to produce over 5,000 healthy and delicious meals for kids each day. Healthy meals lead to healthy living, and KidzTable is seeking to promote the use of fresh, natural, unprocessed foods for kids, and to educate children, parents, teachers, and the community about ways to fundamentally change the way kids eat and create a healthier generation of kids.
A unique aspect of this kitchen is its dual role as an employment training center. Modeled after a national best practice called FareStart, founded in Seattle, Washington, St. Vincent de Paul will co-locate its Next Course employment training program in the KidzTable kitchen. St. Vincent de Paul’s Next Course is a food service training and employment placement program that addresses the basic issues of skills training and job readiness that affects many Baltimore residents and keeps a wide gap between those living below the poverty level and those making livable wages. Next Course takes the unique approach of integrating skills training with real life work experience.
Funders of this new and innovative training program include the Weinberg Foundation, Abell Foundation, Charles T. Bauer Foundation, Catalyst Kitchens/Walmart, and the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative.