What We Do
Right now we are working with families in Southern Chester County, PA, who are living in "doubled-up" situations. We provide a comprehensive case management service program to help families find their own living quarters and sustain independence. We also rent several apartments/houses in our community that act as emergency housing for our families while they work to secure stable housing.
Helping “Doubled Up” Families
Determined to continue to serve families, we turned to our waiting list. We started providing case management services without moving families into shelter, but rather working with them in the situation they were in. Many are “doubled-up” living with friends or family. But for many reasons, these families find themselves unable to move forward. Some are living in crowded or not very habitable conditions. The need in our community is so great that sometimes once families are “diverted” from street homelessness to somewhere – anywhere – where they have a relatively safe roof over their head, they are no longer considered homeless. But we know that the situation may not improve, and they may end up homeless, unless there is some assistance available to them. So right now our focus is on these families.
Kennett Square Resource Center for Daytime Services
The Resource Center in Kennett Square is not a shelter. It offers a true home base to families in our program.The Center offers many services and amenities that families need, including basic necessities such as showers, laundry, and a kitchen. Beyond that, we provide a mailing address where families can get mail and have their children enrolled in their own school district, toys for the kids, a place to spend family time together on the weekends, and games for the family. We also provide crucial support resources, such as computer access, community resources, case management, and job search assistance.As guests of our Resource Center, each family has their own set of chores to maintain the home. Everyone plays a role and does their part. The Resource Center is truly a place that provides an invaluable sense of routine, safety, and security for families with children. Children come home from school to see their parents every day while doing their homework. With a beautiful living room and a fireplace, the Resource Center offers all the comforts of home to families who have endured the hardship of homelessness.
Promises Made - Promise House - Promises Kept
Family Promise of Southern Chester County offers three programs for families in need.
Promises Made is similar to a diversion program in that the case manager works to divert families from shelter and homelessness by assisting them to identify alternative housing options, services, or resources through case management services. This is for families who may be in imminent danger of losing their current housing.
Promise House is a newer model in which families stay in apartments or homes that Family Promise leases for 30-90 days. During this time, the case manager works with families to establish and address goals, including improving employment, household budgeting/financial literacy, securing permanent housing, and connecting to entitlements (i. e. childcare, housing subsidies, food stamps, health care). Families also receive life skills training, such as how to utilize public transportation, improve their credit and financial situation, and build social networks, helping them to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
Promises Kept is a stabilization service offered to graduates of Promise House. Stabilization is necessary to reduce the rate of returns to shelter by families. By staying engaged with families as they exit shelter, we can limit the trauma experienced by the families. We provide food items, gift cards, small grants for one-time expenses, utility assistance, and furniture or household items to families who stay in touch or attend meetings. Intensive case management can also be provided.
Support Services to Address the Root of Poverty and Homelessness
The Family Promise of Southern Chester County Case Manager works with local social service agencies to help guests find jobs, housing, and other social services. The agencies assist guest families to work through substance abuse, domestic violence or psychiatric problems which may be impeding their ability to find and sustain stable housing.