Three-Month Checkup for Family Home Start

Three-Month Checkup for Family Home Start

There is much to celebrate this month. We had a successful Beans & Bags for Bridges event on May 5th. We are so thankful for all the support of our sponsors, Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and donors who made it such a great day despite the rain. Another celebration for us is how far our new program, Family Home Start, has come three months after it launched in February. The program’s goal is to provide rehousing assistance for families experiencing homelessness who have children enrolled in the Howard County Public School system. For qualified families, the program supports their transition into housing by providing move-in assistance — 

Executive Director Jennifer Broderick, Staff Members Kristin Miller and Emily Brandon, and Board Member Toniann Mendelzon

security deposit plus one to two months of rent — a sizeable financial burden that prevents many working households from leaving homelessness.  

 

To date, the program has rehoused 14 families, comprising 53 individuals (20 adults and 33 children). Another 9 families have been referred to other Bridges programs that better suit their housing needs; of these clients, 2 families have been rehoused so far. Currently, 17 additional families are receiving case management, including direct support with their housing search.  

We are grateful for the program’s financial support from the Dept. of Housing and Community Development and for the collaboration with school system employees who assist applicants with program information and required documents. 

 

We hope you’ll read further in this issue to learn more about the Family Home Start program. We’ve included a story about a family that has been housed through the program, and you’ll learn more about the Bridges housing advocate who is working tirelessly to serve the program’s clients. 

Client Story

Overcoming Obstacles: Nikkia's Story

Nikkia, her husband Harrell and their two children spent days riding buses from California to Howard County, only to learn that the relatives they had planned to stay with were flooded out of their house, leaving them all homeless. Still, Harrell got a job immediately and the family stayed in a motel for months, until a new program from Bridges to Housing Stability provided crucial support. Learn how Bridges supported them on their journey.

Staff Highlight

Welcome Rysmaelle and Jasmine!

Bridges recently welcomed two new staff members to the team – Program Assistant Rysmaelle (L) and Family Home Start Housing Advocate Jasmine (R).

Rysmaelle recently graduated with a B.S. in International Business and has a passion for volunteering and helping the community. She particularly enjoys event planning and looks forward to helping with events that make a real difference. Her main goal is to be an active part of the community and contribute positively through her actions and work.

Jasmine is an alumni of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Her background is in housing individuals with mental health and co-occurring disorders who are experiencing homelessness. She enjoys helping people and fostering relationships with clients. Her favorite part about being the Housing Advocate for the new Family Home Start program is being able to rehouse families with children because she believes that children are our future. Jasmine is already receiving rave reviews from her clients, who said, “I wanted to express my gratitude for Ms. Jasmine and elaborate on her work ethics, kindness and professionalism. Not only was she able to find me and my three children a home but she showed empathy toward me and my situation and did not judge me one time. She was responsive to all of my concerns and she was very caring towards me and my children including our safety.”

Birdies for Bridges is back!

The Sheehy Toyota Birdies for Bridges Golf Tournament returns on September 20, 2024 at The Timbers at Troy Golf Course. Join us for a great day of golf, food, beverages, and fun – all to benefit a great cause. Your golf registration includes: greens fees, range balls, light breakfast, on course lunch, a post-golf luncheon, awards, raffles, and unlimited on-course domestic beverages.

Register and check out sponsorship opportunities at birdease.com/bridges2hs. 

Thank you to our early sponsors!

 

Howard Hughes