Thanks to a $500,000 Community Innovation Grant from the Robins Foundation, Housing Families First and the Richmond Public Schools Family Support Center created the Bringing Families Home program to help families precariously housed in hotels or overcrowded situations move into permanent homes.
Funders for Housing and Opportunity provided a grant in response to COVID-19 so that this vitally important housing program could begin in May, 2020. Staff from the RPS Family Support Center, as well as the Henrico County Public Schools McKinney-Vento Office, refer students and their families struggling to sustain hotel stays to Housing Families First (HFF). 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 newly-hired School Housing Navigator. Destiny Hunter, a former Housing Families First and Homeless Crisis Line staffer , has taken on this new role.
Over a third of RPS students in housing transition are chronically absent due to illness, suspensions, frequent moves, and parental stress. The Robins Foundation Community Innovation Grant has provided the resources for Housing Families First to move over 400 RPS students and their families from motel rooms and friends’ couches into a home of their own over the next three years.