St. Vincent de Paul Awarded Five Year Head Start Grant to Help Lead New Zero to Five Initiative for School Readiness
-Five local early childhood education partners form new Head Start Collaborative in Baltimore City-
St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore (SVDP) has been awarded a new Head Start grant totaling approximately $35 million over five years. SVDP is one of five agencies that make up a new Head Start Collaborative in Baltimore City. The Collaborative was formed in response to a new, national Zero to Five initiative to ensure that low-income children receive the highest quality early childhood services possible from cradle-to-kindergarten.
The five leading Head Start and Early Head Start providers, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Baltimore City Head Start, the Y of Central Maryland, Catholic Charities, and the Maryland Family Network, worked together to create new and unique strategies that will dramatically increase the percentage of Head Start children who are considered “Fully Ready” for kindergarten to a level that exceeds the average for Baltimore City. The Collaborative will work with other partners including: The Mayor’s Office of Human Services, Baltimore City Public Schools, and B’More for Healthy Babies.
The strategies, released in detail at Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s press conference today, include:
- Shifting Early Head Start and Head Start delivery from a one-grantee system to a multiple grantee collaborative to devolve funding directly to the community agencies
- Focusing the Head Start program on three-year-olds and expanding the number of three-year-olds served from 2,200 to 2,600
- Expanding all Head Start services to be full-day (six hours) and lengthening the Head Start school year by 10 days
- Using a common approach to reporting results, curriculum, assessment, training and technical assistance
St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, a leading provider of community services for nearly 150 years, will continue providing Head Start services for children at its 7 established sites throughout high-poverty communities in Baltimore City. SVDP Head Start has a special focus on serving the Spanish-speaking population, with approximately 30% of enrollment being English Language Learners. Dual language children and families are supported by a network of SVDP bi-lingual teaching and administrative staff.
“St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore remains dedicated to providing quality education and support services to our Head Start families, and we are thrilled to be a part of this collaboration,” said John Schiavone, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore President & CEO. “Strong investment in Head Start is crucial. Access to quality early childhood development programs is central to any effort to break the cycle of poverty. Access to high quality early interventions like Head Start means that children are more likely to graduate from high school and college, are less likely to need special education services, and are less likely to repeat grades.”
Head Start is a comprehensive pre-school education program designed to prepare low-income, children for academic success, and promote age-appropriate social skills. The program works in partnership with parents, extended family, and members of the community to offer developmentally appropriate education, health, case management and family support services to children and their families.
Beans & Bread Opens Doors to Opportunity
Beans & Bread Hours of Operation:
Construction is complete on the new Beans & Bread Center and improved services are up and running. The Beans & Bread Center offers a comprehensive array of services to help those who are homeless or suffering from the effects of poverty attain the skills and resources they need to achieve self-sufficiency and realize their full potential. The Beans & Bread Center is home to three programs: Beans and Bread, Frederick Ozanam House, and Home Connections.
Beans & Bread is a day resource program that provides a complete range of supportive services. Beans & Bread offers low barrier services that provide immediate stabilization, such as meals and day shelter, and form the foundation for client engagement. Beans & Bread also offers an extensive array of self-sufficiency services focused in four core areas: housing, employment, health, and recovery. Clients are assisted in attaining the goal of achieving self-sufficiency by a team of staff, interns, and volunteers who provide guidance, support, and case management according to the client’s level of need.
Frederick Ozanam House is an on-site, 20 unit, transitional housing program for men in recovery.
Home Connections is a scattered-site, permanent supportive housing program based at the Beans & Bread Center serving 60 chronically homeless individuals.
Founded in 1977 by Benet Hanlon, Beans & Bread was distinguished in those early days by the great dignity and respect shown to meal “guests,” who were greeted at the door, seated, and waited on by Benet or other volunteers. St. Vincent de Paul assumed operation of Beans & Bread in 1986, and moved it to its present Bond Street location in 1992, adding case management and other supportive services.
In 2008 St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore embarked on the Opening Doors Campaign to raise $5.25 million to renovate and expand Beans & Bread, enabling it to provide even more comprehensive services. The new facility more than doubles the space for the day resource program, adds employment services, showers and laundry, and other services for housing, health, and recovery.
In addition to daily meal service that is a key part of engaging the homeless population, guests now receive a membership card, the first step towards engagement in services that help them attain the skills and resources to achieve self-sufficiency and realize their full potential.
Beans & Bread Services:
Weekday Morning Hospitality
Shower and Laundry Services
Recovery Support & Referrals
8:30-4:00 Monday through Friday, 9:00-1:30 Saturday and Sunday
Lunch is served from 11:30-1:30 Morning Hospitality from 8:30-9:30
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.