Community First launched in 2013 and has provided hundreds of homeless families and youth-headed households with stable housing and wrap around services to promote long-term success.
This program quickly moves youth and families with children from emergency and domestic violence shelters into permanent housing by providing short-term rental and utility assistance, which decreases the trauma to the family caused by prolonged homelessness. Stable housing allows them to begin creating relationships with their neighbors, utilizing transportation and establishing employment and childcare close to their home.
Once in housing, families receive comprehensive, in-home case management to promote self-sufficiency and long-term stability. Our staff assist families in identifying ways to increase their income, budget effectively, and save toward future goals. Clients are offered tenant and life skills education, as well as referrals to a broad network of services to help them maintain their housing and prevent future incidences of homelessness.
Community First prioritizes households with children (12% of the homeless population) and youth-headed households (11% of the homeless population) for services as children and youth are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of homelessness including poor school performance, developmental delays and medical concerns. Through the stability of housing and supportive services, these households are given the opportunity to thrive.