TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM
What Is It?
The Transitional Housing Program (THP) is a joint Christian effort of area churches and individuals teaming up with Loaves and Fishes THP staff in order to help homeless families with children by providing a furnished home and supportive services for a period of up to two years.
Who Refers The Family To The Program?
Our referrals come from Loaves and Fishes Emergency Family Shelter, Waterfront Mission Women's Shelter, Favor House Domestic Violence Shelter, churches, and other area agencies. When a vacancy occurs in one of our homes, potential families are interviewed and evaluated as candidates for this program.
What Is Offered To The Families?
Each family is given intensive social work with special emphases on goal planning, financial planning, employment skills, educational opportunities, counseling and parenting. Additionally, the program can offer assistance with medical care, transportation, clothing vouchers, and referrals to appropriate community resources. Families are also ministered to physically and spiritually. Visiting representatives from churches supporting the THP offer the families much needed encouragement and care.
Who Supports The Home?
Area churches link arms to support the households both monetarily and spiritually. They contribute $150-$200 per month to help supplement expenses such as food, transportation, utilities, telephones, maintenance, staff, office expenses, taxes and insurance. The more churches committed to helping the THP, the more families we can assist. Each church names a representative who visits and ministers to an individual family. The representative is invited to periodic joint meetings with other church representatives. The representatives receive periodic reports from the THP regarding program updates and updates on their individual family, which they can then share with their church congregations.
We are also supported by government grants such as HUD Supportive Housing grant. Every dollar received from HUD must be matched by a percentage of cash from the ministry. Donations from churches and individuals are essential in matching the grant money.
Why A Long Term Time Frame Of Up To Two Years?
The situations that have led to a family’s homeless situation normally have not occurred overnight and cannot be resolved in a month or two. It usually requires months of support for a family to find employment, catch up on past bills, pay rent, and utility deposits, etc. The THP is designed to help families transition from homelessness into stable wholeness. The two-year period also enables the families to eradicate debt and save significant amounts of money that will help move them obtain and remain in housing when they exit the program. Maintaining families for longer periods enables them to acquire skills needed to care for their families when they exit the program. Most families leave us financially able to make all rental and utility deposits, as well as having additional funds. Many families have even been able to make home purchases when they exit the program because of successful debt eradication, improving credit scores, and being connected to programs designed to aid in home ownership.
How Many Homes Are In Operation Now?
We currently have 16 churches of all mainline Christian denominations participating and supporting 18 homes: 2 in Santa Rosa County and 16 in Escambia County.