Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HOMESTRETCH ~ Empowering Families to Rebuild Lives


Homelessness in NOVA

The needs of Homestretch clients can be enormous and varied. Families become homeless and end up at the doors of Homestretch due to many different reasons. It may be due to natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina, or sudden losses of loved ones who were primary breadwinners. Many women flee situations of domestic violence and end up homeless with their children. Some are political refugees from war torn countries and others are families who have been caught up in patterns of dysfunction and poverty who seek ways to stabilize their lives.

In a given year, Homestretch will work with as many as 120 families and 300 children. It is important to note that the average age of a homeless child in Homestretch is eight years old so it is imperative to break the cycle of poverty and help these children have promising futures.

The success of Homestretch’s approach is reflected in its positive track record:

Since 1990, Homestretch has assisted over 900 families and over 2,000 children. Of those families entering Homestretch, 83% complete the program and successfully transition into permanent affordable housing. Recent tracking demonstrates that after two years of having left our program, 93% of graduates remain stable, housed and employed. To date 20 Homestretch graduated families have become first-time homeowners. 10 more families are expected to become first time homebuyers within two years. 

Homestretch Services for Adults Include:
  • Case Management
  • Employment Counseling
  • Credit Counseling
  • Tax Preparation
  • Probono Legal Services
  • ESL Classes
  • Computer Literacy Training
  • GED Tutoring
  • Domestic Violence Education & Counseling
  • Therapy
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Life Skills Training
  • Transportation Assistance
I REALLY love the fact that this organization makes their clients self sufficient, and self sustained. Homestretch is not just throwing money at the issue of homelessness, they are educating their clients how to handle important life skill sets to succeed in the world today.  They even have a Benefit Breakfast every month (1 hour) that explains the impact Homestretch has made on the homeless community.

The next Benefit Breakfast is:
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 from 7:45 - 9 am
Fairview Park Marriott
3111 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church, VA 22042

Click HERE for RSVP information

VOLUNTEERING at Homestretch:

I heard of this organization through a work networking function from one of Homestretch's former board of directors members.  She told me what a wonderful organization it was, and how they can organize projects for teams to help prepare apartment units for Homestretch clients. Here is the link I went to in order to find out what projects were available, how I could donate my time, and who to contact. How to Donate your Time. I contacted Lauren with Homestretch and she set up the event for us, had all the supplies ready for us at the apartment unit, and made it very easy for our group to participate. 

Here are some pictures of our event :)

Team Brittenford!

Lauren with Homestretch giving us instructions

Our painting supplies

Lots of crayon marks on the walls

CDC!! hahahaha


Homestretch even provides a wide range of services for children too! Here are just a few:

  • Access to dental, vision and other specialized health services
  • Academic tutoring
  • Drug, alcohol and tobacco education
  • On site nursery and child care
  • Free summer camps and camps during Spring Break
...and more!

Families can stay with Homestretch for two years or more as they acquire the skills and resources they need to live productive and independent lives.