Palm Beach County ranks second in Florida for child homelessness, according to a report by the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. Studies also show that homeless mothers and children have extremely complex needs, including mental health, physical health, development, and safety. Homeless children are likely to be placed in foster care and are at risk for becoming homeless adults. Family homelessness is predicted to increase, making CitHouse an option for those seeking to break the cycle.
At the time we submitted our grant application, the demand in the community for our program was enormous. Today, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the demand is overwhelming. For every vacancy we have in our residential program, we are receiving an average of 30-40 calls from desperate mothers and their children.
Research shows that strengthening the family unit may prevent children from entering the child welfare system. CityHouse offers a proactive response, seeking to prevent foster-care placement by providing tools for healthy living. Intervention at this level may lead to systemic change, creating a healthier community for generations to come.
CityHouse provides a two-year residential program for nine homeless single mothers and their children, including not only safe and affordable housing, but also wrap-around services such as education, career development, transportation, childcare, mental health, life skills, and case management. The Home and Hope project allows CitHouse to expand operations by opening a two-year residential program in Boca Raton that serves another six mothers and their children. Our expansion into Boca Raton comes at a time of the highest need, since we opened our doors in 2014.
Impact 100 PBC funds will be used to implement the Home and Hope project. By employing an additional case manager who provides wrap around services, mothers will develop and attain their family goals.
Measuring Program Success
Metrics will be updated every 6 months, as reports are received.