Circles of Support is designed to empower homeless families with the skills to sustain employment, housing and improve their overall quality of life. This program was launched in August 2010 as part of our program for homeless families. We match volunteer support circles with families transitioning from our shelter to permanent housing. Family stability and ending the cycle of chronic homelessness are the primary goals. 84% of homeless families are female headed without a support system.
The shelter system for homeless families is a temporary refuge and a place to rebuild. Once families achieve permanent housing and employment, it is only one of the steps to stability. The next challenge is to maintain independent living and not fall back to residential instability. Many families transitioning from shelters do not have a support system to lean on when issues arise. Furthermore, many suffer from medical issues and/or a lack of education which complicates day to day life.
Support Circle members will meet with the household member(s) and assist them in setting and meeting attainable goals. Some activities include:
• Budgeting and finance
• Healthy eating habits
• Tutoring members enrolled in school
• Helping adults with job applications, résumés, and cover letters
• Providing transportation
• Helping member(s) access community resources
• Assisting with child care
Circles of Support provides that extra layer of assistance to a newly housed families reducing recidivism.
The combination of home-based case management, provided by Genesis Home and a trained volunteer support group enables homeless families to break the cycle of homelessness.