In partnership with local Continuum of Care community organizations, Bethany for Children & Families offers transitional housing services for families experiencing homelessness in the Quad Cities.
Housing Families is based on the Housing First model, an approach that offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible and then provides services and connections to community-based resources. The population served is no to low income families who typically have mental health, substance abuse, and/or poverty issues that have upended their stability. Prior to placement, families area assessed by Humility Homes and Services.
Once clients are settled in their preferred neighborhood (if possible since it prevents further disruption for school, work, and support networks), basic needs are met. Intensive case management helps identify and focus on the root causes of homelessness. Topics that are addressed include:
Educational or employment counseling;
Money management and budgeting;
Mental health assistance;
Community vocational training skills;
Assistance with legal issues; and
Community medical, dental, and psychiatric services.
Participants set goals, find employment or increase family income, complete educational opportunities, and work to prevent problems that might cause future homelessness.
Bethany houses six families for three to six months; approximately 24 individuals at a given time. During this timeframe, families quickly and progressively become responsible for their living expenses; they are motivated to adopt and implement strategies that ensure they are able to maintain their home. Once they complete the program, families can continue to reside in the home.
The impact on program participants is positive and permanent. Referrals can be made by community members, educators, counselors, social services, and homeless shelters.
A Story of Success from Clients of
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 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!