"Lean on me, when you're not strong, and I'll be your friend, I help you carry your load...."
We all know this song and that is very essence of Genesis Home's Circles of Support program.
The Circles of Support program pairs trained volunteers with newly housed families giving them encouragement, advice and friendship as they begin their lives after leaving homeless shelters. Located in Durham, NC, Circles is one of three programs that Genesis Home offers to homeless families.
Emma had spent time in one of our partner shelters and was referred to Genesis Home's Circle of Support program once she had attained her voucher for permanent housing. Her job search was a struggle, though, because each time she took in her paper resume she was asked to submit her application online. Emma had never used a computer. When she shared this problem with her Circle, they took action. Meeting a few times a week at the public library they took Emma throught the steps of turning on the computer, to navigating basic sites, setting up email and typing lessons. It wasn't long before Emma was apply to apply for jobs online and secure permanent employment.
Why is this so important?
Emma's story is a perfect example of a circle in action, taking the right steps to help our clients in their transition to stabililty in the first year of housing. Without her Circle, Emma would had struggled terribly, just trying to navigate the process of making a job application. With people by her side, they led her through this challenge, providing her with new skills and confidence.
Our families enter the shelter without a support system, or in the case of the mothers who have fled abusive relationships, they have left damaging relationships behind them. As they begin their stay in our shelter our staff becomes their new support system helping them make the transition to permanent housing and employment. Once housing is established, we do not want our families to feel abandoned and alone in the first months of independent living. That's where Circles of Support comes in, providing staff support partnered with trained volunteers who guide and help the family in the first twelve months of housing.
What does the Support Circle do?
A Support Circle is a team of 4-10 volunteers who work with formerly homeless families on employment, educational, parenting and financial goals with the goal of improving housing stability. Volunteers have assisted the household offering support, mentoring and guidance with the goal of achieving long-term realistic housing, career, financial management and community participation goals. Circles are asked to commit to a household for 12 months.
How does your financial gift help?
Moving into a new home with very few possessions is scary and the expense can be daunting. Our Support Circles help to alleviate the anxiety by offering moral support and encouragement and are sometimes able to find gently used items to begin furnishing the home. With the help of donors like you, we are able to provide some financial support to help a newly housed family make a fresh start.
Supporting a Core Value
We believe in the restoration of dignity. Our clients come to us broken and discouraged. Often they have left everything they have known or owned behind. Our first responsibility is to build up their spirit and skills. Once they are ready to move out on their own, it is equally important to be sure their surroundings give them a sense of dignity and pride. They need to face their children knowing that there will be beds, sheets and blankets. They need to cook for their children with pots, pans and dishes to eat from. The very basic necessities that we take for granted can be the turning points for a feeling of self-respect. Your gift can make that happen.
Send Homeless Children on the Road to Enrichment through the Genesis Home 5k to $40k Challenge!
Last year, donors just like you helped us send a record 19 school-aged homeless children to summer camp. This year, we are running toward a goal of sending all of our school-aged homeless kids to summer camp and beyond through the Genesis Home 5k to $40k Challenge!
What is the 5k to $40k Challenge?Genesis Home is participating in the 2013 Great Human Race to support enrichment programs benefiting homeless children, and we want you to join our team!
For every $10,000 raised through this challenge, you’ll help us knock down the funding hurdles for programs that enrich the lives of homeless children and families.
$10,000: Sends every Genesis Home school-aged child to summer camp.$20,000: Provides after school tutoring.$30,000: Provides health and wellness programs.$40,000: Provides direct-service family enrichment programs.
How can you help?Your donation puts Durham's homeless children one step further on the road to enrichment.
The more we raise together, the more kids get to go to summer camp! Here’s how each dollar makes a difference:
$240: Eight weeks of day camp for one child
$120: Four weeks of day camp for one child
$60: Shorts, T-shirt, socks, hat, rain jacket
$40: Sturdy running shoes
$30 One week at day camp (at subsidized rate with help from the YMCA)
$25: A swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen
$15: Lunch box, water and food containers
But that’s just the beginning! If we meet our ultimate goal of $40,000, we will have the funding to provide after school tutoring, health and wellness programs and direct-service family enrichment programs.
The Impact of Summer Camp - David's Story:David's parents have never been able to afford summer camp for him. While they were working, they had to place him in a daycare situation, which didn't offer him any enrichment. Thanks to the money we raised through the Great Human Race, David was able to attend camp with his peers, learning new skills and having the time of his life. David and his family live in our shelter. They are building their skills and income to be able to live independently. Summer camp is just one of the enrichment activities we offer our clients and recent graduates of our program.
Our staff noticed the positive impact of camp for all of our children. Homeless kids who had recently lived in chaos had the stability of our shelter, but with the added gift of summer camp, they learned about positive, trusting interaction between peers and camp staff. This carried over to their interaction at our shelter. We observed more cooperative play and a sense of teamwork. They looked out for each other and this shared experience opened doors of possibilities for them.
Who we are:Genesis Home works to end homelessness for families with children by providing housing and support services to foster independence.
For more than 23 years we have provided shelter and services to hundreds of families and on average have 30-35 children (with 20-30 school age children) living at our transitional shelter in downtown Durham. We have operate at capacity and currently house fifteen families.
For more information, please visit www.genesishome.org.
Debra and her cousin left a difficult situation in Georgia to make a fresh start in North Carolina, moving into a family member's home with their children. What had looked promising from the outset turned out to be a nightmare and they left an explosive, dangerous household to seek shelter at Genesis Home; a shelter for homeless families.
This began a journey for Debra, who embraced the program support of our shelter and took all the right steps to rebuild her life for herself and her two young daughters.
For over twenty-three years, Genesis Home, in Durham, N.C. has provided a shelter program where homeless families can rebuild their lives and prepare for permanent housing and employment. Our ultimate objective is to end the cycle of homelessness for each family by building their overall capacity to create stable, healthy households. We currently provide shelter and supportive services to fifteen families at our on-site shelter facility. Debra and her family are just one of hundreds of families we have helped over the years.
Debra worked with her case-managers to set reasonable goals. With a background in nursing, Debra took courses, became certified as in N.C. and began working by doing nursing home visits. She also embraced all the Genesis Home workshops on parenting, healthy living, financial stability and becoming ready-to-rent. Debra attended the children's enrichment classes that were offered to our kids, learning to enjoy activity time with her daughters and becoming a better, more engaged parent.
When all the pieces were in place and it was time to move into her own apartment, Debra was matched with our volunteer "Circle of Support" group, offering her support group in her first year of permanent housing. This Circle proved invaluable when she fell ill and was hospitalized. Her support group was there to care for her children, be there for hosital visits and help her over a rough patch.
Just two days ago, we received news that Debra is now employed as a full time nurse in a local hospital, earning a wage that will support her family and receiving a benefits package that ensure even greater stability!
Debra is one of those wonderful, determined success stories. She did everything right--step by step--by recognizing a dangerous situation, taking action to seek shelter, embracing a program, working hard at her goals, accepting the help of a support circle and ultimately reaching an employment goal that will provide for her family.
Your support of Genesis Home programs help the families just like Debra's who are hitting the reset button and ending the cycle of homelessness for their family. Our house is full of parents just like her who rely on program support and we rely on YOU--our wonderful donors who help make the success stories happen.
Thank you from all of us here at Genesis Home!