The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) announces a new partnership with Montgomery County, MD, Department of Health and Human Services, division of Services to End and Prevent Homelessness (SEPH). The goal is to expand NCCF’s capacity to help young parents decrease their stay in shelters or to help young families avoid coming into the County’s homelessness continuum. This targeted, culturally specific approach will address three of Montgomery County’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. Relying on Jeff Bezos’s Day 1 Families Fund, this partnership is a key step to aid in NCCF and SEPH’s mutual goal of ending family homelessness in the county by 2021.
“Montgomery County has made great strides in ending homelessness for families with children. In the last year, the number of families in the homeless continuum has been reduced by 72%. This new partnership with NCCF will allow us to move our work further upstream and prevent more families from being evicted and experiencing housing insecurity. We believe that investing in high need neighborhoods will not only have a direct impact on the families served but will strengthen the wider community,” says Amanda J. Harris, Chief of Services to End and Prevent Homelessness.
In this affluent area, very young parents and their children, are at increasing risk for becoming homeless. They may have been pushed out of their homes or are escaping abuse, and frequently suffer from the effects of systemic poverty. Many factors like lower income levels and lack of education force these parents into desperate situations. Exorbitant childcare costs exacerbate these challenges and may prevent young parents from obtaining steady employment or limit their access to safe and stable housing. Lack of stable housing during childhood, especially for very young children, does incredible and lasting damage. Housing stability is crucial to preventing child developmental delays.
For nearly 40 years, NCCF and Montgomery County have collaborated to address emergency family and permanent housing needs, and ensure access to the resources that build family self-sufficiency. NCCF’s decision to amplify its up-front and creative services response is a direct result of the community investment grant awarded by Jeff Bezos’s Day 1 Families Fund. According to Executive Director, Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman, “This is a perfect partnership of private, non-profit, and county resources. Our plan is to use the Day 1 Families Fund money to shorten the length of stay in shelter but we are enthused to work with the County to find more innovative methods of keeping young parents with their very young children out of shelters.” Services will include counseling, education, guidance, and life skills to give individuals the opportunity to heal and grow. NCCF excels at designing cutting-edge programs that empower people to create their own future.
About The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF)
It is the mission of the National Center for Children and Families to create total, healthy living environments for vulnerable children, youth and families, and the quality of life which empowers their ability to thrive and demonstrate responsibility. With 20+ programs throughout the National Capital Region, NCCF’s goal is to empower the larger community to ensure that all of its children, youth and families receive the resources they need to become successful and contributing members. We envision a society in which children, youth, and families live in sustained, supportive communities, which reinforce the integrity and unity of the family. NCCF reinforces the ability of the community to take care of its own. To find more information on NCCF and its programs, visit: www.nccf-cares.org.
About Services to End and Prevent Homelessness (SEPH)
The vision of the staff of Services to End and Prevent Homelessness (SEPH) is a community where all persons have access to safe, affordable housing, and the opportunity to achieve a higher quality of life. The mission of SEPH is to make homelessness a rare, brief, and non-recurring event by operating from a Housing First philosophy. Housing First recognizes that people are most successful when they have choice in housing and seeks to eliminate barriers such as sobriety requirements or treatment compliance. SEPH provides a full continuum of services including housing stabilization, homeless diversion, and permanent housing; and employs evidence-based and promising practices. The mission cannot be achieved without collaborating with public and private partners through the Interagency Commission on Homelessness. For more information please visit: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/homelessness/.