RaiseUp Families Approach
Clients referred from school counselors, apartment managers, and local congregations are screened to determine if they are eligible for the program.
RaiseUp Families provides nine months of comprehensive case management, including a needs assessment, development of a self-sufficiency plan, supportive counseling, and advocacy. Families are provided interim assistance to remain in their current apartment or to move to an apartment zoned to their current school to ensure children receive an uninterrupted school year. While clients work on individual goals and seek or retain employment, RaiseUp Families may assist with basic living expenses, such as rent, utilities, transportation, childcare, and job-related education and training, until the family is able to cover these expenses.
After a family completes the nine-month Hand-Up Housing program, they are supported as part of a two-year Follow-Up program, by a case manager who oversees monitors their progress and provides guidance and mentoring. Follow-Up program families still actively participate in RaiseUp Families educational forums and other activities.
Client Success Story
When Carmen and her two teenage children arrived in Houston from Detroit they moved into her cousin’s two-bedroom apartment. Her 14-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter were enrolled in nearby schools and Carmen started work at a grocery store to pay her cousin rent. Both her children were thriving in school and had made close friends when just seven months later Carmen’s cousin announced she was moving across town. It was March and Carmen feared that starting over at new schools late in the year would really set them back.
Determined not to pull her kids out of their schools, Carmen rented a motel room by the day until, when down to her last few dollars, she worried that one-way tickets back to Detroit were their only choice. Then one day her daughter’s assistant principal asked why she was so despondent. Carmen explained their situation and the assistant principal shared how RaiseUp Families might be able to help.
Within three days, Carmen was admitted into the program. RaiseUp Families helped her find an apartment close to the children’s schools and called on volunteers to help Carmen furnish the new apartment. RaiseUp Families also helped her look for better employment, took her to Dress for Success for a new suit, helped with her resume, and paid her rent for the first two months. Soon afterward, Carmen interviewed for a bank teller position and got the job!
Now, Carmen is a full-time bank teller and loves the company she works for. Both children are doing well in school and their extracurricular activities. They are happy to have a home to call their own and very proud of their mother’s hard work to ensure a better future for their family.