About the Family Support Program
Through partnership with the Siemer Institute for Family Stability (SIFS), United Way of the Midlands has selected Family Housing Advisory Services to implement the Family Support Program.
The Family Support Program (FSP) was designed to assist people to quickly regain financial and housing stability after experiencing a housing crisis. Housing education, financial interventions such as utility and rent and mortgage assistance, and private financial guidance are provided to households at-imminent risk of becoming homeless.
Lower income, hardworking families with one or more school-aged children facing a threat of homelessness will benefit from targeted short-term financial support for rent or mortgage assistance, transportation, utility bills, job-training referrals, and intensive case management services within the FSP. The program's primary goals are to reduce student mobility, increase family stability, and to help families remain in their homes while making lasting changes that will improve their lives for generations to come. The underlying belief is that when children remain in their school of origin, their interest in and connection to school will improve, and their chances for academic success will increase.
Participating families will have a school-aged child living in the home, incomes at or below 50% of the Area Median Income, the need to prevent an imminent threat of homelessness, and a willingness to work toward increasing financial and housing stability. Each family will set goals for their own family stability and will work on those goals within their housing action plan for a minimum of six months.
This program will work closely with schools and employment training programs to cover educational and financial needs to maximize the benefit for both the child(ren) and the family as a whole. Participating families will receive education and counseling and one-on-one intensive case management to help reach their program goals. In addition, families will have access to the broad range of services that Family Housing Advisory Services offers, such as renter, financial and homeowner education, housing search assistance, second-chance tenancy, relocation assistance, tax preparation services where they might access earned income credits in the largest poverty-reduction program in the United States, fair housing education, and individual development matched-savings accounts.
Families who enter into the Family Support Program will commit to a minimum of six months to work towards overcoming financial and housing obstacles in order to stabilize their housing and financial situations. One of the strengths of this program is that each family has the opportunity to write their own future success story to help aid in the goal-setting process. The beauty of this approach is that the participant has the opportunity to determine their own “dream” future, so that “if they can see it, then they can achieve it." Their “story” will be a living document that is referred to throughout the duration of the case management program and will set the tone for their own success. This program will help stabilize families one household at a time, strengthening our children of the future, the family unit, neighborhoods and communities, and ultimately the entire Metro Omaha area for generations to come.
For more information about the Family Support Program:
Director, Community Investments-Classroom ReadyUnited Way of the Midlands402-522-7957
Deborah Dancer, Director of Tenant Services Family Housing Advisory Services & Omaha 100, Inc.402-934-6731 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Through their Siemer Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of The Columbus Foundation, Al and Barbara Siemer established the Family Stability Initiative (FSI) in 2003. Developed to help reduce student mobility and increase academic success, FSI focused on improving long-term housing and economic stability for families at-risk of homelessness.
For more information about The Siemer Institute for Family Stability, please visit: http://www.familystability.org/