Monday, February 23, 2009

DC Charity Spotlight: Homestretch

$100: cleaning supplies for 20 families to use in their new homes;
$500: 3 families' utility bills for 2 months;
$1000: brand new beds for 10 children

Surprising as it may seem, there are more than 2,000 homeless persons in affluent Fairfax County. About one-third are children, and growing up homeless is hardly a recipe for success. For 110 families a year, Homestretch provides an answer: two full years of transitional housing (clients pay 31% of their monthly income; Homestretch pays the rest), budget counseling, job skills training and placement assistance (all clients must train or work full-time), ESL and life skills classes, pro bono legal advice, and substance abuse and domestic violence counseling.

Staff ensure that children are immunized and enrolled in daycare or school. Homestretch has an 87% retention rate, and 90% continue to achieve full-time employment and permanent housing two years later. Numbers like these have won acclaim from the US Department of Health and Human Services and also from the Public Housing Management Institute, which calls Homestretch a model for public housing across the country. Here's an organization stepping up to the plate to face a tough problem: you can help them down the home stretch.

370 South Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
703-237-2035 ext 118

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