Alpha House of Tampa has developed a comprehensive continuum of care for its population of parents, primarily pregnant and parenting women, directed towards become self-sufficient and moving to safe, appropriate housing. In addition to emergency shelter, Alpha House of Tampa provides case management, parenting education and support, employment and life-skills classes, housing search assistance, and aftercare case management. Their mission has expanded with home visitation aftercare services for pregnant women, mothers and families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in Hillsborough County. The Aftercare Case Manager follows up with residents after they have moved out of shelter to ensure stability and continued progress. During home visits and frequent communication, participants in the aftercare program can access a wide range of supportive services, in-home parenting support, and referrals to community providers to ensure a successful transition to independent living, integration into the community and prevention of a return to homelessness.
Alpha House of Tampa Case Managers work in partnership with parents to promote parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting and family well-being. A variety of screening tools and child-development programs are offered to ensure that babies are developmentally on track and parents and caregivers receive the support they need to be successful and confident. Group and one-on-one classes with parents and children use best-practice, evidence-based Safe Baby, Nurturing Parenting and Circle of Security curricula. Nurturing Parenting is a researched- based, family-centered, trauma-informed program designed to remediate and prevent abuse and neglect of children birth to 18 years. The program features activities to foster positive parenting skills and self-nurturing, home practice exercises, family nurturing time, and activities to promote positive brain development. In addition, case managers administer Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQs) screening to children staying at Alpha House of Tampa. ASQs are utilized to determine if there are any development delays in key areas of a child’s development, including communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social development. Clients may choose to continue working with their Alpha House of Tampa Case Manager after they have moved out of shelter and into their own homes to ensure stability and continued progress toward their goals. During home visits and frequent communication, participants in the aftercare program can access a wide range of supportive services, in-home parenting support, and referrals to community providers to insure a successful transition to independent living, integration into the community and housing permanency.
The emergency shelter will offer very low barriers to entry and provide individualized housing-focused support services. Services and housing will be provided in a manner consistent with the Housing First philosophy and best practices. Housing First offers families experiencing homelessness immediate access to permanent affordable housing, full-scale Housing Solutions Center. Emergency shelter and all ancillary services will be provided at no charge to families. Services for residential families will be coordinated by the family’s assigned Case Manager and delivered in a variety of ways. The Case Manager will serve as residential families’ primary point of contact. In certain situations, Family HSC staff will take the lead in providing services. All Family HSC will be trained in Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, and similar best practices. Family HSC Case Managers will be trained in Housing-Focused Case Management. They will also administer Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) screenings to children to determine if there are any development delays in key areas of the child’s development, including communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social development. Case Managers will help each family create its own Housing Stabilization Plan (HSP), which will be focused on steps needed to move out of emergency shelter and into permanent housing as quickly as possible. The HSP will not provide a life plan, require a bio-psycho-social assessment, or focus on extensive wraparound services; rather, the HSP will identify specific short-term action steps to initiate a rapid move to stable permanent housing. Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) financial assistance and post-housing services will be available to many of the families in the emergency shelter component of the Family HSC. The link between Family HSC emergency shelter and RRH is essential to ensure the short lengths of stay at the Family HSC and meet desired permanent housing placement and stability outcomes. The Family HSC will utilize RRH funding to help families move out of the HSC shelter as quickly as possible by providing housing location services and financial assistance for deposits and rental assistance as needed. Housing Case Managers will provide services in the homes of families that have moved out of the Family HSC and into rental units in the area. The intent is to ensure ongoing stability of housing, prevent returns to homelessness, and connect families with community-based services and natural support systems.
Chapman Partnership provides comprehensive services to support stability and self-sufficiency for homeless families and their children with temporary housing, economic and educational opportunities that work to reduce the cycle of poverty and allows children to grow and thrive in a safe and supportive environment. Their goal for the youth development program for children living in the emergency shelter care is to expose them to positive social, learning activities that enhance their intellectual and emotional development and create fun-filled childhood memories for children who have had limited opportunities for healthy stimulation and engagement in education and special interests. Chapman Partnership operates two Homeless Assistance Centers with 800 beds located in Miami and Homestead. Collectively these two Centers serve approximately 5,000 men, women and families with children annually. We help the homeless by providing a comprehensive support program that includes emergency housing, meals, health, dental and psychiatric care, day care, job training, job placement and assistance with securing stable housing. The negative impacts of housing instability on a young person’s life can dramatically affect early development and learning, leading to course failure, retention risk and potential dropout. Often, extended lengths of homelessness and its episodic nature results in more dramatic impact. Chapman Partnership’s homeless assistance model nurture the skills and abilities of families and children that removes the barriers creating muli-generational poverty and instability. High-quality programming serving disadvantaged children that provides enriching experiences has been proven to promote positive, healthy development.
The Me and My Family Program continues to develop, offering children of homeless families to engage in quality time with their family in after-school activities and participation of field trips that will be held in conjunction with collection drives that provide clothing and personal items for each child. These include a Halloween children’s party with costume making, magician and haunted house activities for the children; a Thanksgiving children’s party that will encourage children to give thanks and participate in acts of kindness to others and learn the value of honor, respect and gratitude; a Holiday children’s party with food, games, Santa Claus and toys for each child; a Valentine’s Day craft party where children make their own valentines and bake cookies with family and mentors; and the Easter family event at Jungle Island will host an egg hunt and animal show for the children. Other activities include field trips for children and families to the Miami Zoo and Sea Aquarium and a 4-week summer camp with the Miami Children’s Museum that includes interactive exhibits and learning programs related to arts, culture, community and communication along with outdoor recreational activities on the playgrounds, rock climbing wall, water play area and in the dance and fitness program. Funding supports the supplies, materials, admission fees and travel expenses of each activity for the approximately 400 families and children.
Family Promise is the leading national nonprofit organization helping families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence through a holistic, community-based response. Through direct service and other prevention and stabilization programs, Family Promise addresesthe range of issues affecting low-income families and families experiencing homelessness to help them rebuild their lives. They engage the local community in their efforts, giving volunteers meaningful opportunities to give back to their community and provide essential services to impact the lives of children and families in need. Family Promise oversees 200 affiliates in 43 states, including 9 operating affiliates in Florida, providing comprehensive support services to children and families experiencing homelessness hosted in transitional shelter by dedicated volunteers. The Hobbs Foundation is assisting the organization in expanding their efforts in Florida to better serve over 3,000 children and their families. Through direct service and prevention and stabilization programs, they meet the immediate needs by providing shelter and offer case management that links families to social services, employment possibilities, education and job skills training, health care, day care and educational services for children, and, ultimately, independent housing. Intensive case management allows for quick re-housing; 82 percent of the families served secure housing upon graduation from the program. Their comprehensive, holistic approach provides families with the tools they need to regain and maintain their footing on the road to independence. Affiliate staff works closely with the families to provide individualized case management which addresses the underlying causes of a family’s homelessness. After graduating from the program, families continue to receive support from Family Promise, as needed, through parenting and life-skills classes, financial literacy curriculum, and assistance with employment.
Family Promise’s strategic plan for Florida expansion includes strengthening operations development and leadership capacities. The Gulf/Central Regional Director will be dedicated to building organizational strategies local agency partnerships to provide comprehensive services to children and Families in the state. With funding from the Hobbs Foundation, Florida affiliates implement permanent housing services and landlord engagement practices for families, receive national expertise in operational development and financial sustainability specific to serving the needs of children and families experiencing homelessness. In addition, they introduce post-shelter support programming that facilitates virtual life skills and self-sufficiency education, financial literacy, mentoring programs in relation to housing status, employment and monthly reporting systems to track the progress of every family. The organization’s financial literacy program, New Beginnings, teaches families basic financial skills including budgeting, smart shopping, credit, savings and banking. Rapid re-housing specialists provide home visitation support services to families for one year including therapeutic counseling, life skills training, financial coaching, tenancy education and eligibility assistance. The goal of program development is intended to improve housing stability and retention for Florida children and families upon graduation with continued preventative resources.
Metropolitan Ministries provides emergency shelter care to children and families who have been victims of homelessness and severe financial hardship with comprehensive programming that aims to alleviate suffering, promote dignity and instill self-sufficiency. Metropolitan Ministries provides temporary shelter, meals, clothing, education and counseling services to bring wealth of resources to families in need. MM has grown from a small emergency homeless shelter to a full service social services agency serving the needs of homeless and at-risk families. In the last year, PromiseLandserved 217 students including 15 children who transitioned to kindergarten. 1.3 million meals were served with the assistance of our 29 meal site partners. 631 children benefited from our First Hug program. Our self-sufficiency goals were met: 94% of families who exited successfully into housing maintained their families in our Uplift U® and Hope Hall Emergency Shelter housing programs and 27,616 families in Outreach. 84% of families were employed upon program completion and began earning an average wage of $12.58 hourly. All programs were supported by 23,850 volunteers. Metropolitan Ministries’ target population is homeless children age 0-5. Florida has a national ranking of 42 among all states in educational services to homeless children according to the recent the 2015 Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness Report. The need for early childhood programs for children ages 0-5 is pronounced. They have twice the rate of learning disabilities and three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems. These children are behind in grade level and behind developmentally often complicated by the trauma of domestic violence. Metropolitan Ministries has become accredited as a Certified Sanctuary Trauma Informed Care lead agency and has implemented this methodology in all programs to address these challenges in Hillsborough County and to state-wide partners.
Metropolitan Ministries provided supportive educational services through our PromiseLandEarly Childhood Executive Function Intervention Program for 217 preschool and kindergarten children in the last year. As part of the program, several assessments and tools are used to track children’s needs, including the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) Assessment, Behavioral Rating Inventory Executive Function Scale 2 (BRIEF-2), Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA), Letter /Sound Identification, DolchSight Word Reading Assessment and the National Institute of Health Toolbox (NIH Toolbox). Results of these measures show how critical Executive Function skills are early in a child’s development and in school readiness as preschoolers transition to elementary. They plan to continue to expand services of Executive Function Skills to more fully address the needs of our youngest children birth-3. With the program expansion, they bring in an Infant Toddler Interventionist to focus on interventions with infants and toddlers and more specific training for teachers and parents of that age group, and provide Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist training to our Executive Function Interventionist who has created and implemented this program from the beginning. In this upcoming year, Metropolitan Ministries will contract an Infant Toddler Interventionist and in the following year those services would be implemented by the Executive Function Interventionist who will fully transition to offering programs to our 0-5 population. In the coming year as the Interventionist continues to work with the school age population she will train and support the therapeutic staff in our CREATE after school program. In order to fill the gap of those children entering the program who may be behind due to Executive Function difficulties we propose an Executive Function Tutoring Course. This course will be provided using the Executive Function Activities Kits. Executive Function Activity kits will be provided for individual and home use for the transition period into kindergarten. These kits are targeted to address executive function skills, increase learning and parent engagement. Executive function kits will be provided to Metropolitan Ministries’ families in Pre-k and Kindergarten both on campus and in the community.
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based, community health program that helps transform the lives of vulnerable mothers pregnant with their first child. Each mother NFP serves is partnered with a registered nurse early in her pregnancy and receives ongoing nurse home visits that continue through her child’s second birthday. NFP is dedicated to positively transforming the lives of vulnerable babies, mothers and families to meet a future where all children are healthy, families thrive, communities prosper, and the cycle of poverty is broken. U.S. Nurse-visited children fare better in cognitive and language development and score higher on reading and math achievement test scores than control-group counterparts. Outcomes reported through randomized controlled trials and ongoing studies over a 40+ year history of NFP include significant reductions in pre-term births, emergency room visits, language delays of the child, behavioral and intellectual deficiencies and improved academic achievement in grades 1-3. NFP nurses help mothers find appropriate prenatal care, improve health behaviors, prepare for the birth, teach mothers about child development, encourage good parenting practices, and plan for their future by setting goals and acknowledging personal achievements. Nurse-Family Partnership provides the support services and tools vulnerable mothers need to promote health, wellness, and economic self-sufficiency and fulfill their role as a healthy, capable parent to their child. Nurse-Family Partnership began in Florida in 2008 when the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County launched the first implementation in the state (in partnership with the Florida Department of Health). Today in Florida, the program is implemented in 16 counties via 12 agency partners. NFP is undergoing an ambitious 6-year strategic plan that seeks to expand the reach, potential and impact of the program by facilitating significantly greater scale, doubling the number of children and families served by 2023 in the state.
The Hobbs Foundation supports critical expansion activities of NFP in Florida by engaging the program support team in each county affiliate, growing the program strategically in areas of highest need and where the organization can have the greatest impact on the health and early development of at-risk infants and mothers. Expansion of existing sites and new sites will be undertaken in partnership with hospitals, healthcare nonprofits, and Federally Qualified Health Centers in addition to the exploration of a Pay-for-Success (social impact bond) model implementation for the state. Funding provides direct program expense in providing home visitation services to at-risk mothers and their children, nurse consulting and education for expanded recruitment, agency partner oversight and support resources and outreach programming for first-time mother recruitment efforts. NFP will oversee expanded home visitation, case management, program model fidelity, and monitor outcomes of new participants. Nurse-Family Partnership is driven to build success in Florida to ensure that mothers have a healthy pregnancy, become knowledgeable and responsible parents, and provide their babies with the best possible start in life. By the end of 2018, NFP expects to increase enrollment to 1,215 first-time, at-risk mothers, and increase by 1,350 by the end of 2019.