One of our successful programs is our HOPE for Stable Families Initiative or HSFI (formerly Stable Families program) that has been in the community since 2012. Due to the strong outcomes Stable Families showed, United Way of Central Iowa (UWCI) approached the Siemer Institute about additional funding to support the expansion of the Stable Families program while simultaneously merging aspects of the program with the learnings and partnerships from the HOPE program. Additional funding was awarded and the new HOPE for Stable Families Initiative launched in January of 2018. The Hope for Stable Families Initiative is a unique, collaborative effort among United Way of Central Iowa and three funded partner agencies. Each agency has designed programming tailored to where the family falls on the continuum of barriers and need. The goal is to provide extensive wrap-around support to some of Central Iowa’s most vulnerable families in a collaborative effort.
Within the HOPE for Stable Families Initiative, HOME, Inc.’s role is to continue to provide the homeless prevention program that helps families experiencing a housing crisis and temporary financial issues retain their housing and prevent them from becoming homeless. HOME, Inc. provides a combination of integrated services including case management, emergency and short-term financial assistance, and referrals to partner agencies in order to ensure housing and school stability for the family.
PCHTF and federal Emergency Solutions Grant funds are used to provide direct financial assistance for rent and utilities to prevent clients from becoming homeless. Siemer Institute and United Way funding is used for indirect expenses and staff expenses. HOME, Inc. funding through private donations is used for administrative expenses that are not covered by other funders.
HOME, Inc. has one full-time case manager that works one-on-one with the participating families. Each family works with the case manager on a family goal plan that includes elements of financial, school, health, and general family stability. The case manager can also provide mediation and counseling to work with the client’s landlord to retain their housing. HOME, Inc. provides financial assistance for past due rent or utilities to eliminate the threat of eviction, termination, or utility disconnect. A case manager and client then develop a family goal plan aimed at overcoming the barriers which have caused the threat to their housing. This includes applying for mainstream benefits, developing budget skills, learning their housing responsibilities, working on personal goals (typically seeking mental or physical health treatment, acquiring skills training or higher education, or seeking jobs with higher compensation), and ensuring that the children attend school. Families are enrolled in the program for up to 12 months with the average being nine months.
This year HOME, Inc. served 84 people (28 families) last year through our HSFI program!