Thanks to a $500,000 Community Innovation Grant from the Robins Foundation in 2020, Housing Families First and Richmond City Public Schools created the Bringing Families Home program to help students and their families precariously housed in hotels or overcrowded situations move to permanent homes. This program has since expanded to include Chesterfield County Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools.
The referral process is different from our other programs due to the fact that these families do not come to us through the Homeless Connection Line. Unstably housed students and their families are referred to Housing Families First by the school systems in several different ways. (See our Get Help page for details.) We can then provide one-time financial assistance to facilitate leasing an apartment, as well as housing search help and housing counseling provided by our BFH case managers.
Over a third of students in housing transition are chronically absent due to illness, suspensions, frequent moves, and parental stress. Our Bringing Families Home program helps to alleviate these barriers to education by enabling us to intervene before the family is actually living on the streets or in their cars. BFH is our only program that allows us to extend our reach to families who are not literally homeless or within three days of homelessness.