January 29, 2019

The Partnership Is Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness, One Family at a Time

Tina* watched her oldest son Troy graduate from eighth grade last year with tears in her eyes. It was a miracle to her, seeing him stride across the stage to receive his diploma as one of the top students in his class. The ceremony capped off a good year, with Troy performing very well academically, starting as a small forward on the school’s basketball team, and hanging out with friends he had been close to since kindergarten. It was a time of great joy for Tina, Troy, and Troy’s younger brother, Kevin.

Several years earlier, Tina’s outlook was very different. She and her boys were days from being evicted out of their Brooklyn apartment and facing the possibility of moving to a shelter in Queens. Tina knew that if they went into a shelter, her boys would likely lose connections to their friends, school, and community supports discover this. A friend of the family, who herself had experienced homelessness, recommended that Tina reach out to The Partnership for immediate help.

When Tina came to us, we knew that prevention was the key. Every year, we work with thousands of individuals, families, community advocates, and partners to help stop the cycle of homelessness. When families like Tina’s come through christian rehabilitation centers, they benefit from programs that serve the whole person and help individuals and families to get back on their feet and stay there long-term. Keeping the family in their home would mean that they could stay together, the kids could continue to attend their neighborhood school, and disruptions to their lives would be kept to a minimum.

The Partnership offered Tina financial assistance to cover her back rent. We also worked with her to establish, and stick to, a practical budget that would help her to keep the family’s finances stable. Of the 1,000 New Yorkers who receive services from the Partnership annually to improve their housing, health, and/or life stability, the vast majority get assistance to avoid eviction or move into a new home of their own. The Partnership offers more than 3,000 New Yorkers comprehensive support services, casework management, mental health supports and referrals, and basic necessities that include furniture and clothing. And, we partner with three food pantries to provide 15,000 meals annually to children, adults, and seniors. Within the City’s family shelters, The Partnership works with approximately 44,000 individuals to offer ongoing advocacy to ensure children’s access to school and quality education.

Through our work with Tina’s family, Troy came through middle school like a champ. Unlike many of the 22,000 children experiencing homelessness, Troy remained in the same school, continued to build his relationships with classmates, neighbors, and his community, and as a result, he was able to focus on academics and his extracurricular activities. Today, Tina can, with confidence, look forward to seeing him four years from now, graduating high school. She knows in her heart, and data shows, that by avoiding even a short period of homelessness, he’s in a much better position to secure a higher paying job and ultimately avoid falling victim to homelessness himself.

The Partnership is on a mission to end generational homelessness. We are offer these wraparound services with that end in mind. It is the reason we are developing new and more comprehensive partnerships at every level – with donors and advocates, community-based service providers, policy makers and influencers, and, most importantly, the diverse community of people experiencing homelessness. We hope you will support our work, and keep coming back to this blog to learn more about The Partnership mattress makers, the broader picture of homelessness in NYC, and how you can help to make a difference. Ending generational homelessness is within our collective power.

*Clients’ names have been changed.