The Partnership for the Homeless

Family Resource Center

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Many people are surprised to learn that families with children now represent the largest – and fastest growing – segment of people experiencing homelessness in New York City.

It used to be the man or woman on our street corner. And while they still need our help, now it’s moms and kids with backpacks, living in entrenched poverty.

These families need a home, but also help to improve their circumstances. To break generational cycles of poverty and housing instability, getting into an apartment is only the first step.

At our Family Resource Center in East New York, Brooklyn, people often come with a multitude of challenges. We provide comprehensive assistance to meet these challenges. We help them reclaim their hopes, their dreams, and their potential by addressing crises, stabilizing their lives, and creating opportunities for more than just stability – for prosperity.

Preventing the Unthinkable

Losing your home is an unthinkable trauma – and once homeless the climb back to housing and stability is difficult. That’s why our emphasis at the Family Resource Center is on preventing homelessness.

Our first priority is to keep people in their homes by working with landlords, brokers, City agencies, employers, and even helping with housing court. When a family has already lost that sanctuary, we help them reclaim it quickly by working with them to find another apartment. Our Family Advocates and Housing Specialists leave no stone unturned to make sure every one of our clients has a decent place to call home.  

  • 75% of New York City’s homeless are families with children.
  • On any given night, nearly 9,000 families and over 15,000 children call a shelter a home.
  • Over the course of a year, nearly 50,000 school-aged children in New York City will have experienced homelessness.

We can and must put an end to these statistics or risk losing generations of New Yorkers to abject poverty, at great cost to them and our City.

Housing Is a Crucial First Step 

Still housing alone is not enough to help families permanently escape homelessness. About a third of those families who have been homeless become so again; many more live at subsistence levels.

We go beyond housing at the Family Resource Center to help clients develop the skills and opportunities to improve their circumstances permanently. 

In partnership with a Family Advocate, each family can gain access to a full array of services and supports to help them start down the path toward long-term prosperity, including:

  • employment assistance… to help begin taking the necessary steps toward fulfilling and sustaining careers with job searches and resume preparation, job training and GED preparation resources, and through partnerships with workforce providers to connect clients to jobs.
  • health and mental health assistance …to make sure clients connect to community resources addressing their family’s health needs.
  • financial counseling… to help families develop workable budgets, file income taxes, and work on issues of debt and poor credit.
  • food and nutrition … to connect eligible families to food stamps and the opportunity to learn about healthy eating and its connection to strong bodies and minds.

East New York statistics reveal the depth of the challenge:

  • Over 30% of all residents live below the poverty line and half receive public assistance.
  • A third have trouble affording sufficient food, the 6th highest rate of food hardship in the nation.
  • Fewer than half of residents have a high school diploma.

A Key Difference 

Families living in poverty are often bounced around from one person to the next as they deal with multiple systems just to subsist. Not so at the Family Resource Center. Our Family Advocates work on all of the challenges a family might be facing, from their initial crisis to taking the steps that can improve the family’s circumstances permanently.  

To us families aren’t “cases to be managed”; they're people with strengths that can be enhanced to transform their lives and communities. 

Working Towards Transformation 

A secure, prosperous life isn’t gained by just one step. More often there are many steps, each supporting the next, that help us achieve the well-being we all seek. At the Family Resource Center, we touch on these vital steps, and more:

  • Our Education Rights Project helps to break the cycle of school failure and generational poverty created by homelessness by working with children and parents to ensure that kids can continue to excel in school despite housing instability.
  • Our SISTA program rebuilds personal effectiveness by helping young women gain the skills to communicate their needs and assert their right to have them met, overcoming the profound sense of powerlessness that being homeless creates.
  • Our community events and workshops build skills and knowledge of resources and create strong social networks among community members to promote well-being and stability.

The Family Resource Center is a vital lifeline for individuals and families facing the enormous challenges of homelessness and poverty. Regaining the sanctuary of home and taking steps to make lasting improvement in your lives isn’t necessarily a quick process. Having a steady advocate alongside you can make all the difference. That’s why the Family Resource Center is committed to delivering that key difference and ultimately ending homelessness.

Read more about the Education Rights Project

Read more about SISTA

Why East New York?