In December 2016, CUCS received two grants to support the Home to Stay Program, one from the Durst Family Foundation and the other from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Each foundation asked that the funding be used to provide whatever support or assistance necessary to ensure success for families moving out of shelter and into their own apartments.
Although CUCS’ Home to Stay Program will be closing its doors at the end of June, we were able to provide a lasting gift of support to many of the families in the program thanks the generosity of the two foundations.
For families in the Home to Stay Program, moving into an apartment brings a different set of challenges than the ones they faced while living in shelter. When a family leaves a shelter run by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), they receive starter items for their new homes, including some furniture. But often times, families move into an apartment with not enough furniture to accommodate everyone in the household.
CUCS case manager Monet worked with a family that moved into an apartment in early May 2017. Due to financial strains, the family was not able to purchase much of the furniture they needed for their new apartment. With the help of the grants, the family received beds for all family members and a dining room table with enough chairs for everyone, providing a great opportunity for the whole family to spend time together. “You can see the relief it gave to the family, it helped them make their house a home,” Monet said.
The grants have also helped ensure that clients stay housed. Home to Stay client Jeanette moved into an apartment on the second floor of a house, with her landlord living downstairs. She and her two children moved into a bare apartment and within 30 days received numerous noise complaints from the landlord because of the children playing. She was at risk of being evicted but Home to Stay staff were able to use funding from the Foundation grants to purchase large area rugs to dampen the noise. Jeanette hasn’t had any issues since receiving the carpets.
Families often face the challenge of having to replace the many items they lost when they moved into a shelter, including small kitchen appliances and cookware. Thanks to the generous foundations, CUCS was able to purchase cookware, such as toaster ovens, microwaves and dinnerware sets for families to use in their new kitchens.
Overall, 39 families received items they needed for their new apartments with the grant funding. CUCS was able to purchase 89 pieces of furniture for the families, including 20 beds, 7 bunk beds, 27 mattresses, 16 drawer chests, and 10 dining room sets, as well as desks, coffee tables, couches and linens.
While CUCS is sad to see the Home to Stay Program close, we are happy to have been able to help each and every family get a solid start and find success in their new homes.