Faith Community Homes
(13 Miles Away - Go to:
Address: 302 N Dunton Ave Arlington Heights, IL 60004 Map & Directions Arlington Heights, IL Financial Assistance) Telephone: (847) 342-0846 Website: http://www.fchomes.org
Services: Faith Community Homes reaches out to low income, employed families with children to assist them in securing attainable rental housing. Mentoring and referrals are provided as they move toward financial stability and independence. Individuals grow personally and become responsible, contributing members of the community. Further, they educate Church and civic organizations about the lack of affordable housing, and advocate for affordable housing issues with local government bodies. Faith Community Homes provides supportive housing services to employed low- income families with children who are at risk of becoming homeless. They help these families resolve their housing challenges by providing up to two years of mentoring and support which focuses on budgeting, planning for the future, and problem solving, with the goal of their becoming financially stable and independent.
The families they accept must have school age children, as they are also concerned about children being at risk for homelessness or in unstable living situations. The parents are expected to maintain employment. Most importantly, the family must agree to meet with mentors weekly to review their budgeting, establish both long and short-term goals, and to work on other problems that may arise. The long-term goals families set are most often centered on finding ways to improve their employability, often through further education.
The Program / Case Manager position provides for the training and supervision of volunteer mentors for each family; the process of interviewing, screening and selection of families applying for service; finding available housing options for families; the facilitation of the quarterly reviews of each family with their mentors throughout their time in the program; assistance with problem solving in case of emergencies and difficult situations that arise; and the coordination of volunteers who assist in many aspects of the program.
People wanting to mentor a family are usually known to one of their Faith Community Homes Board or Committee Members, sign a release for a background check, provide references, and complete an orientation and training program before being assigned to a family. Mentors are supervised regularly by their Program Coordinator / Case Manager.
Some financial assistance is offered to the families. Initially, this consists of help with a portion of their rent. Families provide 30% of their income toward rent; they assist with the remainder. As their financial situation improves, they pay a larger portion of the rent, working towards paying their full rent by the time they complete the program. Financial assistance for tuition or books may be provided to parents deciding to return to school in order to develop skills for a higher paying job. They may also assist, when needed, with auto repairs or in finding a donated vehicle. Help towards the fees for child-care, school supplies, and other expenses related to children, is also provided as needed. At times they assist with some medical expenses and other unexpected financial demands. In some instances, the financial help is in the form of a no interest loan.
The Program / Case Manager ensures that all of these activities take place for each family. Every family is continually monitored for progress in reaching goals; options, possible solutions and recommendations for addressing problems are presented and discussed with the family. The Manager and the Mentors do not act as “parents”, but rather as consultants and guides who provide encouragement and support. While Faith Community Homes has a strong faith based support and origin, they do not require any faith orientation of the families they serve, nor do they discuss faith issues with them.
The success of their program is demonstrated by the families who have “graduated” and are now living independently without fear of losing their home and with the confidence that they can meet the challenges they encounter. Families are able to navigate society constructively.
They have recently initiated a Phase 2 program as a safety net to prevent “relapses” for families who are struggling with specific problems at the end of their two year program. These problems may include outstanding significant debts, unfinished education programs, sudden illness or even unexpected loss of employment. In their Phase 2 program, families continue with mentoring, but they are responsible for all their financial obligations. They currently have one family in this program.