Did you know that a large percentage of homeless individuals are gainfully employed, working over 40 hours a week at their jobs? Hundreds of Dallas families are experiencing homelessness this holiday season and are full-time employees of underpaying jobs. For many, like Jennifer and her 14 year old daughter, this could mean Christmas morning will likely be spent in an emergency shelter or even a car.
Transitioning from a two-income household was extremely difficult for Jennifer. After a long divorce, she and her teenage daughter moved in with a relative. Jennifer’s full-time job as a hair stylist did not allow her to save money while contributing to her brother’s household and they were asked to leave. With nowhere to turn, Jennifer found out about Interfaith. She and her daughter were accepted into the program and are now living in a fully-furnished apartment. Now Jennifer and her daughter will not have to spend Christmas in a shelter with strangers. Thanks to Interfaith and those who support the agency, the family is able to spend the holiday in the comfort of their own home. She is looking forward to a fresh start in the New Year as a result of the career and financial coaching she will receive at Interfaith. Last year 90%, Interfaith’s residents exited with full-time employment and over 72% exited with a savings safety-net. This new home and this new start would not be possible without the help of our community.
Every month, Interfaith hosts “Second Saturday” in which families and volunteer groups help to prepare apartments for families in need. With the help of several local organizations, Interfaith will also provide families with holiday décor including: a Christmas tree and lights, handmade ornaments, wreaths and more. We invite you to witness the difference our volunteers make and the joy they bring on December 12th at 6pm.
ABOUT INTERFAITH FAMILY SERVICES:
For almost 30 years, Interfaith Family Services (Interfaith) has been a leading resource for working poor families and a haven for homeless children who long for stability and hope. Today, we are even more committed to our mission to empower families in crisis and break the cycle of poverty. At the core of our work is a simple yet effective program formula: Stability + Self-Worth + Skills = Self-Sufficiency. First, we stabilize about 100 homeless families (nearly 90% of them female-led) each year by providing them with fully-furnished housing for up to a year in one of the 26 units that we own debt-free, and we offer daily children’s programs tailored to the unique needs of homeless children. Next, we increase their self-worth through on-site counseling for parents and play therapy for children. Finally, we develop their skills via career coaching, financial coaching, and life-skills classes for parents and daily homework assistance and individualized tutoring for children. These comprehensive holistic services lay the foundation for the families’ long-term self-sufficiency. Our outcomes prove that our model works. Interfaith families earn more ($13.51/hour), save more ($1,631 on average), reduce more debt ($1,167 on average), and remain self-sufficient longer than the members of any other transitional housing providers that report their outcomes publically.
For more information on Interfaith Family Services or to discover other ways you can support Interfaith’s work, please contact Destiny DeJesus, Marketing and Media Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.interfaithdallas.org.