SPRING 2021 GRANT ROUND 2nd RECIPIENT: Hope Partnership

grant announcement

for May 28th, 2021

We are excited to announce our 2nd Spring 2021 Grant Round Recipient!

Thanks to our generous donor community, Hope Partnership is receiving a $25,000 grant towards their Family Advocacy Program!

Hope Partnership will use this $25,000 grant to support their Family Advocacy program impacting homeless and near-homeless families and individuals in Central Florida.

The Need: Between 12,000 and 14,000 individuals make at or below minimum wage in Osceola County. For these workers, safe and stable housing is impossible to afford, so they resort to living in hotels and motels, doubling up with other families, or in other places unfit for human habitation. A lack of affordable housing exacerbates segregation. Due to a legacy of discriminatory policies, white families typically have much higher net wealth and incomes than families of color, which creates large differences in purchasing power. White families can disproportionately afford more expensive neighborhoods of opportunity.

The Solution: Hope Center, an entity of the Partnership, is working to empower our low-income, poverty-level neighbors living in and around Osceola County, Florida. Primarily, our clients are literally homeless (22%), living in hotels/motels along HWY 192 (39%), living with family/friends (18%), or are cost-burdened renters (21%). On average annually, our client population is 33% white, 22% Black/African American, and 41% Hispanic. 71% of heads of households that are served are female, while 28% are male.

We work to restore dignity and self-sufficiency to those in need in our community through a holistic approach to case management, funds assistance, and life skills. We seek to improve household self-determined success through one-on-one case management, financial literacy coaching, and employment assistance. As part of our case management strategy, we have relied on best practices to help individuals forge a path towards self-determined success through a strong Family Advocacy Program that utilizes motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care. Through the use of these best practices, we help families reduce or remove their barriers and increase their household’s self-determined stability.
Each client who wishes to be part of our Program makes an appointment for an assessment. During this appointment, an Assessment Specialist dedicates their time to understand the client’s story, assessing their current barriers to self-sufficiency, and making referrals to Family Advocates or other agencies to meet their individual needs. Family Advocates provide comprehensive case management services to clients. There are no prerequisites to be part of our Self-Determined Stability Program.

The Impact: Since opening in April 2013, we have served over 50,485 heartbeats. Our family advocates have worked with over 3,000 households. In 2020, Hope Center housed 165 heartbeats, and our clients’ average monthly income increased by $784. The case management strategy we employ is rooted in best practices of trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing and client choice.

The Outcomes: We utilize a modified self-sufficiency matrix (SSM) as a means of measuring increases in household stability. The SSM measures in seven domains on a five-point scale: Housing, Employment, Income, Adult Education, Children’s Education, Mental Health, and Food/Nutrition. The SSM will be administered upon enrollment into the program and if successful, we expect to see a .25 overall score increase: specifically, we expect increases in the income, employment, food security and housing domains. In 2020, despite the effects of COVID-19, clients working with our advocates increased their overall SSM score by .66.

Each advocate establishes a service timeline to fit their individual client’s needs. Advocates follow up with clients monthly to help guide clients to self-determined success. Evaluation of Self-Sufficiency Matrix scores occurs every three appointments, or when there is a significant change in the household’s income, housing, or composition, and are used to adjust client goals and tasks accordingly. HUD homeless Clients will be evaluated by the VI-SPDAT and entered into the corresponding, available program based on their score.

Advocates commit to entering 100% of clients into the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to ensure data accuracy and commitment to data quality as members of our Continuum of Care. Advocates also expect clients to see an average increase of 0.25 in their Self-Sufficiency Matrix score. We expect 80% of all clients to receive continued case management services through the Self-Sufficiency Program.

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