Serving county residents since 1983, GTS annually provides 115 children and their parents the support needed to overcome homelessness with short-term stable housing, food, and the support systems necessary to regain their footing and rebuild their lives.
To combat the long-lasting social and psychological impacts of homelessness on children, NCCF utilizes a child-centered approach. GTS provides support through community partnerships and collaborations with over 300 volunteers annually to ensure families are enriched by opportunities to achieve their goals. During times of uncertainty, children are able to experience the joys of childhood through activities provided by volunteers. Our volunteers facilitate experiences such as pizza and movie nights, birthday parties, bowling nights; also offering an onsite playground built by a group of dedicated volunteers.
Moreover, GTS is the only shelter for homeless families in Montgomery County with an on-site structured childcare center and therapeutic child access capability.
Families transition out of GTS with stable housing, enhanced self-esteem, improved and varied life skills, and healthier relationships, all of which help them to avoid becoming homeless again.
Support services include:
Erica Garcia, MSW, Program Director
Angela, a former resident, entered GTS with her three children, ages 13, 12, and 9 after being evicted from their home. The upheaval and disruptions associated with their sudden homelessness, fractured Angela’s relationship with her 12-year-old son. The pair successfully engaged in therapy with the GTS therapist improving the quality of their relationship. Upon identifying housing, the family received a variety of donated household and kitchen items from Dr. C’s Boutique. Angela was grateful for the support that she received at GTS and expressed a desire to return as a volunteer.
Through the support of NCCF staff and volunteers, the program offers mothers the opportunity to live cooperatively together and to build longstanding positive relationships with other mothers, who became a circle of support to each other. The mothers often care for each other’s children, share recipes, and encourage their children to develop friendships with each other. Volunteers provide meals, access to community outings, tutoring, birthday presents, holiday parties, and translation and legal services to support these families as they work towards self-sufficiency.
Participants are offered up to 24 months of communal housing, case management, linkages to legal services, immigration resources, supportive services, six months of aftercare services, including monthly contact with Betty’s House staff if needed, continued access to Dr. C’s Boutique, and linkages to community resources as needed.
Erica Garcia, MSW
Lolita, a 29-year-old mother, moved to the US to follow her dreams and her husband. She entered the Betty’s House program with her 2-year-old son after leaving her husband, who had become both verbally and physically abusive shortly after her baby was born. While she was able to escape the physical abuse, the emotional and psychological trauma left Lolita withdrawn and with little self-esteem. Through her engagement with the Betty’s House Case Manager, the support of her immigration attorney, volunteer activities and the friendships she built in the program, Lolita was able to rebuild her confidence and trust of others again. Lolita acquired a work visa, found employment, saved a substantial amount of money, enrolled her son in a quality daycare center, and was approved for an affordable housing program in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The RRHYA team helps participants to locate permanent housing, repair poor credit, create a budget and pay bills on time, connect to health and social services programs, and join the workforce through career and vocational assessment, and prepare for job interviews. Supportive services and community resources are provided to address challenges around parenting, relationships, mental health, and substance abuse.
Staff connects participants to volunteers and partner agencies throughout the county for mental health services and donations, such as access to community activities, home goods, furniture, food, and clothing. Young Adult participants have the option of remaining in the program up to 24-30 months and exit with the skills needed to maintain employment and stable permanent housing, as well as linkages to resources to avoid recidivism
The RRHYA team helped to secure funding for vocational courses for Iyanna and Tony in the medical and HVAC repair fields. They received certifications which enabled them to get promotions in their jobs. When the family transitioned out of the program, the young couple was earning $4,000 a month allowing them to live independently with their children. The life skills that Iyanna and Tony acquired while in the RRHYA program, included budgeting, saving money, and vocational skills which will assist them to break the cycle of homelessness for their children and for future generations.
Annually, the Rapid Re-housing program serves an average of 55 children and their parents. The RRH case management team helps families identify and overcome the barriers that led to them becoming homeless, and identifies strategies to avoid recidivism. NCCF volunteers provide families with holiday parties and gifts, Thanksgiving baskets, household and kitchen items, access to community activities, furniture, food, and clothing. Participants are offered six months of aftercare services, including monthly contact with their case manager and linkages to community resources as needed.
35 year old Rebecca and her children became homeless after the death of her grandmother which left her unable to afford the home. While in the RRH program, she told her case manager she was interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. With the support of her case manager, Rebecca was able to go back to school full-time and earn her certified nursing assistant degree. With her new certification and clothing for a job interview from Dr. C’s Boutique, Rebecca obtained stable employment and is earning enough income to live and support her family independently without the assistance of NCCF. Due to this newfound success, Rebecca is working towards earning her degree as a registered nurse.
While participating in the PBV program, participants receive case management services through NCCF, community referrals/resources, and goal oriented Individual Service Plans to assist them in maintaining stable housing. PBV families benefit greatly from the NCCF hosted events such as the annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Family Services Holiday Party, and Santa’s Workshop. Participants rely on donations and volunteer services including food, clothing, furniture, household goods, toys, bikes, diapers, access to community events, and holiday celebrations.
Dickson Kanneh, Program Director
Over the years, Michael, a single father of three children, has experienced multiple bouts of homelessness. A work-related injury several years ago prevented him from maintaining a job and after the death of his wife and elderly parents. He felt guilty about not being able to sufficiently provide for his children, which eventually led him to becoming clinically depressed and wanting to give up. After multiple evictions, and no viable employment opportunities, he applied for housing through the PBV program and was approved. After being in the program for about a year, Michael has expressed his happiness and gratitude for stable, safe housing and all the support offered to him and his children. His children have adjusted well to their new home, like their school and have improved academically. The entire family has enjoyed visiting Dr. C’s Boutique for donated clothing and household items. They have also benefited from entertainment and a sense of community found at NCCF’s volunteer-supported community events.
Dickson Kanneh, Coordinator
George a single father of three children, who suffers from health issues, lost his housing, when the family member he was living with moved away. Having been homeless in the past, George desperately wanted to protect his children from the instability that comes with homelessness. He learned of the NCCF Affordable Housing Program (AHP) and reached out for help. George was quickly approved and able to move into a great 2-bedroom unit with his children. Through donations from NCCF, George was able to have his unit furnished and received household goods, so that he and his children could live comfortably. He is very appreciative of the opportunity to live in Montgomery County Maryland and pay affordable rent, while keeping his children safe and being able to send them to great schools so that he can continue to be a doting father to his children.
New Beginning has over 25 dedicated volunteers who provide tutoring, throw birthday parties, host holiday parties, and sponsor trips and other recreational activities.
Ayo Wali, MSA, Program Director
Devon, a 28 year-old with sole custody of his daughter, resided in the shelter for just over six months. He entered the program because he was struggling to secure permanent housing due to a prior felony conviction. The New Beginning Team was able to help Devon and his daughter secure housing by advocating on his behalf. Citing his current enrollment in an apprenticeship program and other positive life decisions he made, Devon and his case manager were able to help convince a landlord to forgive Devon’s youthful, and poor decisions, giving his family approval to move into a two-bedroom condominium in the SE corridor of DC.
Referred by the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), residents are given the opportunity to get back on their feet after an economic crisis, gain self-sufficiency, and obtain stable, permanent housing in the community. Over 65 volunteers provide children and their families with learning and recreational activities, holiday parties, and a host of additional essential services.
Bryan Hamer, Program Director
Ashley and her family were placed in the Kennedy STFH as a special placement. Prior to entering the Kennedy, the family was forced to move out of their home due to mold which left their apartment uninhabitable. With the help of the case manager, the family found and was approved for a new place in a few weeks. The family was able to move out of shelter soon after. The family was extremely grateful for the help that they received from The Kennedy team.
Referred by the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), residents are given the opportunity to get back on their feet after an economic crisis, gain self-sufficiency and obtain stable, permanent housing in the community. Over 100 volunteers provide children and their families with learning and recreational activities, holiday parties, and a host of additional essential services.
KeIra Bell, Program Director
After fleeing an abusive partner, Nakia, a mother of one child, had been staying at one of the District’s hotel shelters before moving into Sterling. While at Sterling, she received case management, housing, employment and education services. With this support, she enrolled in and completed culinary school. Ultimately, she was offered a full-time position at DC Central Kitchen and has found stable, permanent housing which is safe.