Brookview House is a multi-service nonprofit organization for women, children and youth experiencing homelessness that develops safe, affordable housing with support services and programs on site, confronts the root causes of family homelessness and addresses the distinct needs of each family member – children, youth and adults – positioning families for social and economic mobility and long-term stability.
Brookview’s innovative model leads with a racial equity lens, cultivates leadership, crafts cross-sector partnerships, policy advocacy and civic engagement campaigns. Our commitment to improving the lives of families extends beyond our own walls – helping those at risk of homelessness stay at work and housed. As a result, we’re stabilizing communities as we’re helping families thrive.
When Brookview House opened its doors in 1990 two bedroom apartments rented for less than $600 and families – primarily women with children — were the smallest segment of the homeless population. Since then, much has changed. Family homelessness has escalated and faced with rents they cannot afford, families appeal to state agencies for shelter. Every night thousands of families live in shelters and the state has opened motels to accommodate the overflow.
THE BROOKVIEW MODEL
Brookview is recognized for its innovative approach to providing housing and services. Our objective is to provide a safe, supportive environment while moms, children and youths pursue education, job training, and/or employment leading to personal and economic self-sufficiency.
Our two-generation model helps moms, children and youths develop tangible skills, and address cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal, and social factors. Many elements come together to make Brookview one of the most innovative programs serving families:
- Safe, functional and attractive housing – Youth development programs and support services are on-site and staff is dedicated to helping families succeed.
- Opportunities for change – Moms, children and youths transform their lives and pursue their dreams through a full range of skill building, health and wellness workshops.
- Strategic Partnerships – Brookview convenes nonprofit and for profit communities of practice – behavioral health, policy makers, educators, advocates, foundations and corporations – to share resources and identify strategies that help homeless families succeed. Partners include: Lesley University, William James College, Northeastern University, Milton Academy, Community Labor United, New England United for Justice, Wellington Management Foundation, Boston Scientific, TripAdvisor, Brown Brothers Harriman, Cityscapes and more.
*Hosting Annual Legislative Luncheons at the State House to discuss legislative priorities that impact family homelessness, including Rental vouchers, Transitional aid to families with dependent children, and Childcare
*Hosting City Council hearings at our housing developments on family homelessness and childcare policies
*Helping to secure passage of HB 1382, which provides community-based sentencing alternatives for primary caretakers of dependent children who have been convicted of non-violent crimes.
*Citing by the National Center on Family Homelessness Technical Assistance Initiative as a National Model for addressing the intersection of homelessness and domestic violence.
* Creating the 1st youth development model licensed by the MA Dept. of Education & Care that changes how communities nurture, educate and engage school-age youth experiencing homelessness.
*Launching the first Girls Who Code program in the US for girls experiencing homelessness.
*Fully incorporating STEM training into our adult and youth programs and receiving designation as a City of Boston community-based technology training center.
*Developing and constructing 3 housing developments with on-site youth programs, tech centers, and classrooms for adult education and training programs.
WHAT WE DO. We are guided by possibilities not limitations. Brookview uses an innovative, life-changing model to address the many obstacles families face in maintaining housing. What sets Brookview apart is a solid commitment to a ‘two-generation’ approach to breaking the generational cycles of homelessness, abuse and poverty. Both moms and kids develop tangible skills, and address cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal, and social factors. Brookview challenges assumptions and discovers better ways of thinking about and doing things.
1. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS are licensed by the Commonwealth and designed to help school-age children (5.9 to 19 years old) recover from the trauma of homelessness and do well in school. Research indicates that children in a supportive, stable community can heal from the traumas of homelessness, stay in school and thrive. Brookview provides daily after school and full day summer programs with customized academic, emotional and behavioral support. Our success is evident by the percentage of children who improve grades, exhibit better behavior and stay in school.
2. SUPPORTIVE HOUSING — Emergency Housing, Affordable Rental Apartments, and Housing Search Assistance. Brookview provides a safe place to stay with on-site youth programs, education and training and support services.
3. WOMEN’S SAFETY NETWORK – Brookview leads this innovative multicultural community partnership to prevent and end domestic violence. The Network bridges gaps for minority and immigrant families by providing culturally specific services.
4. TRAINING AND EDUCATION. Our dedicated staff helps people address and overcome their particular barriers to success by offering a full range of skill building and health workshops. Each participant has a customized education, life skills and job skills training plan.
5. BEHAVIORAL HEALTH. Licensed clinicians deliver trauma-informed individual, group, and family services and supervise graduate-level interns.
6. COMMUNITY SERVICES. Brookview also opens its education, training and youth programs to area residents to help those at risk of homelessness stay at work and housed. As a result, we’re stabilizing the community as we’re helping families thrive.
Brookview targets families – more than a third of the homeless population. These moms and kids are at risk of long-term public dependency due to a multitude of barriers. The thoughtless insinuation is — they only need housing and this will solve their problem. That is rarely the case. Boston’s ranking as one of the most expensive cities in which to live with record high rents, utility and food costs, leaves thousands of moms and kids without a roof over their head.
Our constituents present with numerous barriers, sporadic work histories, and need extra assistance obtaining and maintaining employment. The families we serve are overwhelmed – many with histories of domestic violence, poor mental health and/or substance abuse. Despite these obstacles, families entering our programs demonstrate resilience and perseverance. They bring motivation and the desire to live independently. We provide services to:
- Women committed to lift their families out of homelessness
- Women homeless due to domestic violence
- Their children, who have been traumatized by instability
- Children and adults in the community at risk of abuse and homelessness.
The typical family at Brookview is:
- A single mother with two or three children
- 90% had their first child as a teenager
- Less than 30% have high school degrees
- 99% have an income well below the poverty level
TAKE A TOUR!
In just an hour you can hear from someone who has been through our program
and tour our supportive housing and youth development space.
Staff and Board members will be on hand to answer questions and share their perspective on Brookview House.
To schedule a tour, contact the Development Office: Mercedes Tompkins (617) 265-2965 x208