The Relatives’ Family Update – July 2017
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Celebrating One Year of Housing Program
This July marks one year since The Relatives began the housing program. After seeing many of our youth sleeping on the streets, The Relatives decided to make housing our young adults a priority. Projected to house 10 this year, we are thrilled that we have been able to get 16 young adults into their very first apartment.
This highly needed program provides youth, ages 18 to 24, who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, or fleeing domestic violence with support in the form of short term financial assistance tailored to their individual needs. “I truly believe the only way to end the cycle of poverty for our young adults is to get them stably housed so they can focus on reaching their employment and education goals,” remarked Trish Hobson, President of The Relatives.
Assistance is offered without preconditions (such as employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety) and could include: security deposits, back rent, utilities, moving expenses and rental subsidy. Along with financial subsidies, youth receive intensive and individualized case management services for 6-12 months, focused on life-skills development, lease compliance, community and life functioning, employment readiness, health and safety, and educational attainment. The ultimate goal of the housing program is to prepare youth for permanent housing and economic self-sufficiency.
Like Teia who is pictured on the right, we also housed Bokai, who was recently featured in our 2016 Family Report. Bokai was the first young adult to be assisted through the housing program. On July 26, 2016, he was handed the key to his first apartment. “It was a big deal when that happened,” recalls Bokai. “I was so excited to have my own place. I was all smiles!”
With the help of the Joey Logano Foundation, the Duke Endowment, and other private supporters, The Relatives looks forward to guiding more Charlotte youth to stability and independence through our housing program.
Two Local Foundations Commit to Helping More Youth Receive Housing
The Relatives is grateful to the Joey Logano Foundation and The Duke Endowment for aiding the work we are doing to house more of Charlotte’s youth. Trish Hobson, President of The Relatives stated, “With the addition of private funding to our housing program, we’ll have more flexibility in moving young people quickly to housing, while we give them the guidance and support they need to become independent and successful.” Currently, the federal grant we receive through HUD only allows chronically homeless youth to be supported through the Rapid Re-housing program. With the additional funds from the Joey Logano Foundation and the Duke Endowment, The Relatives can now expand their services to meet the needs young adults who don’t fit that exact criteria.
The Relatives’ housing program is meeting a tremendous community need, in fact it has already significantly surpassed the number of young adults it projected to house in the first year of operation. This was done despite a lack of funding for staffing as the government funding allocated to launching the program only funded housing subsidies. We are thrilled that we’ll be able to dedicate more resources to the program in the year ahead thanks to a $85,000 grant we recently received from the Joey Logano Foundation. These grant funds will fund a full-time Housing Coordinator and will allow us to open the housing program up to more young adults by offering subsidies to those who don’t meet HUD’s strict definition of homelessness but may be couch surfing, newly homeless, or in desperate need of a place of their own.
We have also seen, and expect to continue to see, an increased demand for The Relatives’ On Ramp services as a result of the law enacted in N.C. this year extending the age of foster care eligibility. A $65,000 grant from The Duke Endowment over the next two years will enable The Relatives to meet this increased demand by enhancing and expanding upon the current services offered to this population. In the coming weeks we will be hiring a dedicated staff person to exclusively work with our youth aging out of foster care, tailoring our services to meet their needs. Specifically this employee will help secure housing for youth aging out of foster care and provide them with individualized and intensive case management in the areas of education, employment, safety, and community life functioning.
Affordable Housing Units are Needed
The Relatives needs the help of property managers and landlords to house our homeless, young adult clients ages 18-24. Through our housing program, The Relatives subsidize the living costs (deposits, rent, utilities) of our clients who qualify for the program for up to 12 months.
We are currently looking for property managers or landlords willing to accept our subsidy and maintain communication with the client’s case manager in order to act as a partner in the program.
If you are a landlord or property manager and are interested in helping out the youth in our community please contact Dominique Dehardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Share Thank You
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Share Charlotte’s Summer Share campaign and helped purchase much needed items off of our wish list. At The Relatives our clients are always in need, especially in the summer when many people are on vacation.
You can always help us by going to our in-kind wish list on Share Charlotte’s site. Many of the items on this list are for the young adults in our Rapid Rehousing program who go into their homes with absolutely nothing. Shop today.
In May and June, BB&T stepped up in a big way for The Relatives. Last year we had one group come out and volunteer at our Journey Place program, but it was such a big hit that this year, we had three separate teams come out and do a project at each of our locations. Not only did they transform each of our locations, but they also provided much need supplies each time they came.
To Volunteer with your group email Elizabeth McCollom at email@example.com.
Our 2016 Family Report
Our Family Report 2016 is now available. The Relatives’ board and staff are extremely grateful for all the support we had last year. Without all of our supporters coming together, many young adults would still be in crisis. Take a look below at the great success we all accomplished together.