Housing Families NOW
Bethany's Housing Families NOW provides rapid re-housing and case management services to homeless families in the Quad Cities region. Families are housed in apartments in Rock Island County. Once their basic needs are met, intensive case management services connect them with resources and teach them how to live independently. The impact on families is positive and permanent. By making sure that a family has a home, a plan to live independently, and employment or education opportunities, we help families in crisis re-write the script for their futures.
Goal of Housing Families NOW
The overall goal for the Housing Families NOW program is to stabilize the family and address issues that could prevent them from sustaining their housing. Outcome measurements include finding employment or increasing family income, completing education opportunities, and finding for families housing they can maintain in the future.
Program Structure of Housing Families NOW
The Housing Families NOW program at Bethany for Children & Families is based upon the Housing First model, an approach that offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based supports people need.
Help for Homeless Families
Once the family is settled in their preferred neighborhood (we strive to keep families in their home neighborhoods to prevent further disruptions at school, work, and support networks) and their basic needs are met, intensive case management helps the family identify the issues that caused homelessness, set goals, connect them with resources, and prevent problems that could cause homelessness in the future.
Eligibility for Housing Families NOW
The population served is no- or low-income families who are experiencing an episode of homelessness. Typically, the families have mental health, substance abuse, or poverty issues that have upended the family's stability.
Services Provided by Housing Families NOW
Case managers will provide services to help the family with educational or employment counseling, money management and budgeting, mental health assistance, community vocational training skills, assistance with resolving legal issues, and community medical, dental, and psychiatric services. Once the family completes the program, they will continue to reside in the apartment to reduce disruption to the family.
Program Duration of Housing Families NOW
Housing Families NOW will house six families for 3-6 months; approximately 24 individuals at a given time. During this time frame, families will become progressively responsible for their living expenses. This well-defined time frame helps motivate families to quickly adopt changes and implement strategies that will ensure they are able to maintain their home. Once a family graduates from the program, a new family will join. The program is ongoing; there is not a timeline for program completion.
A Story of Success from Clients of
Housing Families NOW
Finally free after years in a domestic violence situation, Maria and 12 year old Janessa were living in a homeless shelter.
While seven months pregnant, on bedrest, and unable to work due to her high-risk pregnancy, renting an apartment felt impossible to Maria. Her doctor would not allow her to return to work until after the baby was born. Maria couldn’t afford a deposit, rent, groceries, clothing, or supplies for the new baby.
The shelter recommended Bethany’s Housing Families NOW program, which provides homeless families with a furnished residence, case management services, and helps them meet basic needs. Samantha, the case manager, moved Maria and Janessa into a safe home and developed a plan for the family.
Samantha helped obtain food assistance benefits, enrolled Maria in a single-parenting support class, and taught Janessa to do light chores while her mom rested. She coordinated mental health services to help them heal. As they worked together to set up a crib, Janessa told Samantha that she could finally breathe, that the hardest days were behind them.
Baby Sasha was born into a safe home. After a caesarian delivery and extended recovery, Maria was released to return to work. As Maria gradually takes on the household bills, establishes credit, and grows her savings account, the small family has started to put down roots in their new neighborhood. Maria planted a garden. The neighbors stop by to coo over Sasha. With the help of her counselor, Janessa has overcome some of her anxiety. She made some good friends at school and even tried out for the basketball team. Maria says she wants to live in this home forever. Maria told Samantha that she’s more than free – she’s soaring!