HOPE in ACTION
Supporting the Academic and Social Needs of Youth During Distance Learning
It is a tough time to be a kid. Schools are doing the best they can to provide the same level of education despite the challenges of distance learning. To adjust to this new normal, families in our communities have converted their apartment homes into virtual classrooms for their children. Internet accessibility is a challenge, bringing to light the disparities of the digital divide. Parents are struggling to support the academic needs of their children while juggling their uncertain futures.
Because of this, Hope through Housing has spent the past couple of weeks taking the necessary precautions to reinstate its afterschool programming across all of its sites. It is too important for our children to have a safe place where they can receive help with their schoolwork as well as have the opportunity for much-needed social interaction.
With health and safety at the forefront of our rollout, Hope through Housing has worked with our afterschool teams to build plans that follow CDC and local public health guidelines in regards to health screenings, social distancing, face coverings, increased cleaning, and hand washing.
In addition to our traditional program elements, including homework help, a nutritious snack, exercise, and other enrichment activities, Hope through Housing is supporting kids and their families with distance learning. Ensuring that students have the necessary devices, internet connectivity, school supplies, and a system to help them concentrate during online instruction.
At the same time, we have launched a new virtual Teen Club that will engage high school students through interactive activities online twice a week and will include an activity kit and online sessions with teens from other communities.
And to help our high school seniors, Hope through Housing has begun offering a virtual College Application Workshop Series to assist seniors in their efforts to pursue higher education.
During this challenging time, the needs are greater, and at Hope through Housing, we are committed to delivering relevant programming to help our youth to succeed in school and life!
Money Match Savings Program Celebrates Graduates
At this time last year, Jane* would have told you that building her savings was an unattainable goal. She was 50 years old and had never found the discipline to stick with a regular savings program. After moving to California a few years prior with a $300 credit card limit, $37 in cash, and some faith, a savings account seemed out of reach.
This month, Jane will be one of seven participants to graduate from Hope through Housing’s Money Match Savings Program. The 12-month program was launched last summer as part of Hope through Housing’s Pathways to Economic Empowerment initiative and is financially supported by Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), Pacific Western Bank, and the FHL Bank AHEAD Grant (nominated by Citizens Business Bank).
“Congratulations to the graduates,” said Pacific Western Bank Vice President and Community Outreach Officer Nancy Morikawa. “Pacific Western Bank is proud to support a program that helps individuals increase savings, reduce debt, and open up renewed hope for homeownership.”
Built around the idea of encouraging good savings and budgeting habits, participants committed to a monthly savings of up to $200.00 for 12 months. Residents attended an initial application meeting to enroll and completed four additional financial literacy workshops throughout the program. Each month, participants met with Hope through Housing’s Economic Mobility Specialist to check-in and verify deposits and a growing savings account. Upon completion, Pathways to Economic Empowerment will be matching $0.50 to the $1.00 of the committed contribution.
“Month after month all the participants checked in, followed their requirements, and completed the program successfully. Many of them shared how difficult it was to not spend the money as they saw their savings grow, but they stuck to it,” commented Economic Mobility Specialist Heidi Reyes. “For that very reason, I am so proud of every single one of the participants of this savings program! I am so thankful for our funders for granting these seven participants the opportunity to establish a savings habit.”
Pathways to Economic Empowerment strives to connect residents to financial resources and employment, decrease debt through reduction and consolidation, increase credit scores, and focus on short and long-term savings, as well as the path to homeownership.
“We are so proud of these residents and the impact that our Pathways Financial Coaching is making in helping our residents develop lifelong savings habits and money management skills,” says Hope through Housing President Greg Bradbard.
For participants like Jane, this program has meant the world, especially during a challenging year. “It’s given me a new sense of confidence in my ability to manage my money and inspired me to set more goals,” says Jane. “I’ve been looking beyond the program and plan to continue saving and paying off my debt. And for the first time since losing my home to foreclosure ten years ago, I’m seeing homeownership as a possibility”.
A Story of Hope…
When Hope through Housing Lead Services Coordinator Stephanie De La Torre moved Robert Hudson into his new apartment at Encanto Village, he told her, “This will be my home until the Lord says different.” For Robert, like many National CORE residents, the word home carries a special significance after spending nearly two years without one.
During his time at the shelter, Robert would wake up each day with his motto for resilience – “Get up, get out, get on.” He enjoyed kitchen duty in the mornings, using the time to inspire and uplift others. And then at 9:00 a.m., he would gather up a few men from the shelter and offer them work on his landscaping jobs, encouraging them to start the process of getting back on their feet. At the end of the day, many of the men would ask Robert to hold onto their money, so they could begin saving for the future.
“I know how it is to look for work and not find it, doors are slammed in your face,” Robert says, “These guys are reaching out and trying to find any avenue to work, but they get shot down by most other companies.” After hearing the same story over and over, he decided that he needed to help these men, to inspire them to move beyond homelessness and their situation, despite being in a similar situation himself.
This was Robert’s life until he heard about Encanto Village. Encanto Village provided Robert with an apartment he could afford and a place he is proud to call home. The affordable rents and onsite resident services have allowed Robert the opportunity to begin the process of rebuilding his life. In the time, he has been at Encanto Village, Robert has grown his business while continuing to provide job opportunities to others experiencing homelessness, helping them on their path to something more.
“Robert’s commitment to helping others is inspiring. He helps to reconnect individuals to their community, giving them back a sense of purpose and a source of income,” remarks Stephanie. “We need more people like Robert in this world.”
Be A Champion of the 10 Days of Delivering Hope!
Hope through Housing invites you to join us this year as we celebrate 10 Days of Delivering Hope, a campaign to build family and senior resilience. Beginning November 2, Hope through Housing will release a video daily highlighting our mission, our partners, and the individuals who are on the frontlines giving hope and opportunities to children, families, and seniors in need.
Be a Champion of Hope by sharing our videos and social media posts during the 10 Days of Delivering Hope, November 2 – November 11 with your family and friends. Help us increase our reach for greater impact.
The campaign will culminate with an online broadcast on November 12 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. with many of the same elements that you have come to expect from An Evening of Hope Gala, such as great entertainment, an amazing silent auction, and a caring community coming together to make a difference.
For more information on how you can be a Champion of Hope, please visit hthf.org/deliveringhope/champion-of-hope/
For sponsorship and event information, please visit hthf.org/deliveringhope
HOPE IN ACTION
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