Quick Information About Hope Village
Hope Village is a supportive temporary housing program to help families with minor children who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. It is “supportive” housing because we support our clients by mentoring, monitoring, and providing case management for every family so they can escape the threat of homelessness.
What Is Hope Village?
It is “temporary” because our clients will be temporary residents for up to two years before transitioning to permanent, or “forever,” housing. In those two years, we support our clients as they remove the personal, educational, and vocational barriers which have kept them threatened by homelessness.
Hope Village is intended to help clients advance, not just live on as they have in the past. It is a “hand up” – not a handout. Help To Home (H2H) has been doing this program for 10 years with increasing success, and now is expanding to more homes through its new Hope Village.
Exactly how does Hope Village help families?
Hope Village provides a 2-track program to help its clients. The 2 tracks are:
1) Stable housing at below-market rents. Without stable housing, it is hard for a mom or dad
to think about improving their lives when they are worried about where they will sleep
tonight or if there will be food for the kids.
2) Mentoring, monitoring, and providing case management. This helps our clients remove barriers that have kept them from good jobs such as educational deficiencies, vocational skills, or personal issues. We build a case plan around their individual needs.
What do you mean by mentoring, monitoring, and case management?
The Hope Village team helps each client with financial literacy, counseling, and the steps the client will take to “up-skill” themselves for better jobs. The Hope Village team mentors, monitors, and provides case management to guide, encourage and hold the resident accountable to their Program Agreement’s milestones. Each client must achieve these milestones to continue living in Hope Village. Their lease is tied to following their Program Agreement.
What does success look like?
The successful Hope Village client will grow in their personal lifestyle and their vocational skills so that they are earning a family-sustaining income without the fear of homelessness. A key to achieving this success will be a careful screening of applicants, so only those who are highly motivated to improve their lives are permitted into Hope Village.
How do you plan to “up-skill” clients?
Hope Village collaborates with Manatee Technical School, CareerSource, Goodwill, and other job training programs as well as private businesses to help its clients receive the training they need for a better job such as GED, vocational certifications, etc. Scholarships for these programs are readily available.
The goal is to help the clients find job training that fits their circumstances. Many of Hope Village’s clients have had few successes in life. They may become intimidated, discouraged, or frustrated with the process. That’s when Hope Village’s mentoring, monitoring and case management will supply vital guidance, encouragement, and accountability so each client can achieve their goals.
Is Hope Village duplicating the services of other agencies?
Hope Village does what everyone else does NOT do. We provide supportive transitional housing. We are funded by private-sector sources only, so we can hold clients accountable for their Program Agreement milestones. Hope Village will not duplicate services provided by other agencies, but rather, it will guide its clients toward existing services.
Why do you think you can change lives?
Help To Home has 10 years of experience helping moms and dads and their families threatened with homelessness to achieve self-sustainability. Here are some examples:
STEPHANIE was a single mom with 4 children from 2 to 15 years old when she was referred to H2H by Turning Points which is Manatee County’s primary
agency to help the homeless. She had a full-time job at a doctor’s office, but nevertheless, she and her 4 kids had been living in their van for 8 months because she could not find an affordable rental.
The kids would stay in the van in a parking lot while she was working. She took the kids twice a week to a truck stop to use the pay showers. The oldest kids could not attend school, because they had to watch the two younger ones while mom worked.
She was given an intensive case management plan that had short-term and long-term goals outlined. She met or exceeded her initial goals. The two older children enrolled in school and the two younger children were in full-time daycare. Stephanie and her family moved from a Help To Home facility before reaching all of her agreed-upon milestones. But Help To Home’s volunteers and its rental home allowed Stephanie and her children to transition from living in a van to a stable permanent rental home.
VERONICA and her life partner have 2 young children. They were referred to H2H by the Salvation Army. If it had not been for H2H, this family would have been living in their car. Both parents were employed full time and still, they could not find anywhere to rent. By participating in the H2H program, this family was able to save money and move into permanent housing.
BRANDI is a single mom with 2 children and she was determined to break through the generational poverty cycle and teach her children that living in a car is not normal. She battled covid, multiple hospitalizations, and a health crisis with a son. Because of these issues, she had multiple jobs, and layoffs and still managed to enroll in school to become an insurance adjuster. With the guidance of the H2H case management team, she learned to overcome her previous challenges and approach life with a new balance of appropriate decision-making skills that will forever have positive impacts on her and her children.
DEBBIE is raising her granddaughter. They were living in a shelter with no idea of how to escape homelessness until they met a H2H volunteer and moved into one of their duplexes. The granddaughter is now thriving in her senior year at high school and dreams of going to college. Debbie and her granddaughter are on the waiting list for permanent housing. Debbie is confident that without H2H’s help she would still be living in continual uncertainty in a homeless shelter. “I’m so thankful my granddaughter doesn’t have to go through that anymore. Thank you Help To Home,” she told a volunteer.
Where will clients for Hope Village come from?
Agencies such as Turning Points and the Salvation Army will refer many of their clients to Hope Village, and many others will be referred from smaller organizations dedicated to helping parents and children threatened by homelessness. Many also will apply without a referral. Most clients will come from Manatee and Sarasota Counties. There are no faith-based criteria to become or remain a client.
The challenge will NOT be getting enough applicants but choosing the right ones who have the grit to achieve their Program Agreement’s milestones. Applicants are accepted only after a very intensive screening process.
How is Hope Village being funded?
Help To Home Inc., a 501(c)3, is raising capital funds from private sector donors and non-profit sources to build Hope Village. The organization raised $1.6 million before formal fundraising began. No government funding or borrowing is planned, so there will be no monthly mortgage payments or government controls on helping our clients. The modest rent payments by clients will be matched by modest operating expenses, so Hope Village will be economically sustainable when built out.
What are the homes like?
Most homes will be 650 sq. ft., single-story duplex units with two bedrooms. They will be built with no frills and will accomplish our goal of securing stable housing for our clients. All safety and regulatory requirements will be met. Each unit will have a central a/c and heat.
We have succeeded in providing temporary below-market-rate housing for 22 families in the past eight years in our four housing units. Of those 22 families, 19 of them have successfully transitioned to permanent housing of one type or another.
Our conservative goal with the new Hope Village is to change the lives of at least 927 parents and children in 10 years. The actual number of changed lives will be greater because many of Hope Village’s residents are the result of generational poverty. That means when you break the generational poverty for one person, it will result in breaking the cycle for future generations of that family. (The math is: 53 units x 10 years = 530 families / 2 years residency = 265 families x 3.5 family members (2.5 kids + single parent) = 927 lives changed.)