We house and shelter 250+ families each night, including approximately 500 children, most of whom are cared for by a single mom. Most families needing shelter are referred through city and state government systems; what follows is a constant focus on securing permanent housing.
Within 24 hours of a family’s arrival to Heading Home, our case managers conduct a thorough intake assessment, address immediate needs, and orient the family to the assigned program. We look at a family’s whole picture, including the children’s needs, to help establish a customized service plan and related short- and long-term goals around housing placement and permanency, as well as supported services.
Getting families housed is directly impacted by the availability of affordable housing and subsidies, and the barriers that each family faces. Such barriers might include the history of eviction, poor credit, or distance from children’s schools. We are leading initiatives to reduce the average length of stay in family shelter programs across Greater Boston, as 18 months is far too long to be considered temporary. Given these lengths of stay, the environment where children spend comparatively large portions of their lives is important. We work to create warm, community-based spaces for our clients.
After moving into permanent housing, Heading Home families remain engaged in our case management services for a minimum of one year, to support self-sufficiency.