Helping St. Johns County Homeless Families Create a Better Future
Homeless families with children represent nearly a quarter of the homeless population in St. Johns County.
Common reasons for family homelessness in St. Augustine include the parent’s inability to find a job and stay employed. Even when employed, many low-wage parents with children struggle to pay for basic needs like housing, transportation and food.
The instability of family homelessness can profoundly impact the children’s health and education.
ESHC provide homeless parents with stable housing along with intensive services and life-skill training to help get them and their children back on their feet and moving toward a better future.
Homeless families residing at the ESHC housing campus enter a program designed to provide the services and life-skill training that will help lift them and their children out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.
To reside on the ESHC housing campus, homeless parents must become employed. Producing an income is a major step for many of these homeless families and the start on the road to self-confidence, permanent housing and self-sufficiency. We work with many employers in the area to help these parents find gainful work.
Job Training, Literacy & Education
Education is the key to leaving low-wage employment and gaining advanced career opportunities. Nationwide, 53% of homeless moms do not have a high school diploma. ESHC works with parents on receiving high school credentials or diploma plus prepare them for college and technical job skill training. We work with Learn to Read, First Coast Technical Center and St. Johns River State College regarding continuing education of residents and clients.
In order for homeless parents to maintain employment, affordable childcare is a necessity. We work with Early Learning Center to obtain childcare vouchers for homeless families.
We work one-on-one with parents to give them the budgeting skills needed to avoid homelessness in the future. This includes setting up a budget and reviewing each parent’s finances each month. St. Augustine banks and financial experts often volunteer resources to help educate our homeless parents.
Helping homeless families build a sense of community is an important step toward learning to be a good neighbor. Each month, the ESHC housing campus hosts Neighborhood Watch meeting and dinner for our residents and surrounding community. Many times, a guest speaker is invited to speak on a range of topics including disaster planning, financial fitness, safety, couponing, etc.
Measuring Our Impact
Homeless parents maintained their income or received raises (exceeding our goal of 75%)
Homeless families exiting ESHC program remained stably housed becoming contributing, tax paying citizens (exceeding our 75% goal)
The mission of ESHC of St. Johns County, Inc. is to truly make a difference in the lives of homeless children & their families by providing the opportunity for them to remain intact, stabilize their lives, save towards affordable permanent housing and break the cycle of homelessness.
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