When we speak of homelessness often there is an assumption that providing housing for these families will solve the problem. Most families experiencing homelessness have been through some kind of traumatic life event before losing their home. Domestic violence, death or illness in the family, and substance abuse are some of the distressful events that might cause an entire family to become homeless. These events have psychological impact on both the mothers and their children. Therefore, it becomes vital to not only provide shelter for these families but also supportive assistance to help them overcome the consequences of trauma. Building the self-esteem of mothers and their children is crucial for helping them get back on their feet.
One of our main goals is to help children graduate from school. Research shows that without intervention 75% of youth experiencing homelessness will drop out of high school permanently, over 50% will drop out of elementary or middle school for a period of time and 36% will repeat a grade. Our Above & Beyond youth program looks at each case individually because every child comes from different circumstances. We address the underlying emotional factors and provide academic programs that help children succeed in school. In addition, we provide programs for teens that prepare youth for life and work. Our Teen Visionaries program provides empowering help for teens by addressing social, emotional, and cognitive factors. Through our Saturday Girls Group we provide girls with training and education geared toward their specific needs. The focus is on raising self-esteem and reducing vulnerability. Our programs help children experiencing homelessness to develop a sense of belonging in a safe environment and to thrive in school.
Through our Adult Services we help mothers develop skills to overcome their challenges. The support services we offer range from apartment-style housing to job readiness and life skills workshops that help mothers and their families get back on their feet and continue their lives in a dignified way. Through our two-generation approach, the Brookview model, we have successfully helped 92% of families leave the ranks of homelessness permanently.