FOUR PILLARS OF SERVICE
Family Homeless Prevention
Our Family Homeless Prevention program prevents and reduces homelessness in our community for the families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. This program, launched in 2021, helps families maintain housing by negotiating with property managers, assists families in securing immediate alternative housing, and connects them to serves and financial assistance to return to or access safe, affordable, permanent housing.
Hillsborough County is experiencing a housing crisis. As the fastest growing county in Florida and the number two housing market in the country, rental rates and home prices are rising exponentially, as well as utilities and food costs. Vulnerable families, who were already living on the edge, are now being forced out of their homes, as rent is increasing by over 50%. Many families are facing first-time homelessness.
Emergency Bridge Housing
Emergency Bridge Housing provides safe and secure homes to families with minor children, who are literally homeless. It is short-term and offers a path for families to actively engage in ending their homelessness.
We use a Housing First approach guided by the belief that housing is the foundation for life improvement and that this most basic necessity needs to be met before families can attend to other concerns. This approach does not have barriers to entry and once the family is permanently housed, they are engaged in supportive services to assist them with problems affecting family well-being and to ensure that permanent housing is achieved. Families are considered permanently housed when they move into a rental unit with a lease in their name, or when they achieve home ownership.
Dawning Family Services proudly serves all modern families with minor children including single mothers, single fathers, couples, multi-generational, and LGBTQ+ parents as well as pregnant women.
Last year 292 people were served in our Emergency Bridge Housing.
Our Rapid Re-Housing program focuses on providing short-term rental and utility assistance to families who are currently experiencing "literal homelessness".
The program has been part of our housing service since 2016, It helps families move from Emergency Bridge Housing to stable permanent housing as quickly as possible. It is very difficult for the families we serve to pay bills and save enough money for first month's rent, security deposit, and other moving fees. This program helps families with those needs, so that they can achieve permanent housing quickly.
Our Housing First approach emphasizes that stable housing can work as a platform which allows families to begin achieving personal goals, improving their quality of life, and avoid returning to homelessness.
Last year 96 families (428 individuals) received our Housing Services.
Employment Support Services
The Employment Support Services program started in 2021. Our Employment Specialist assists families with job searches, improving soft skills, job placement and one-on-one counseling and workshops in job readiness skills. The Dawning Family Services team also partners with local employers to develop career pipelines for families.
Our Employment Support Services is open to all parents in need, regardless of participation in other Dawning Family Services programs.
Last year all families served through the Employment Services department received job seeking skills and 79% found and maintained employment through the program.