Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New to First Place - How to Get Involved

We are meeting new people every day who are interested in learning more about First Place. We are the only agency in the State of Washington providing high quality education to children whose families are homeless in addition to providing wrap-around support services to parents.

For everyone just learning about our mission, we invite you to get involved. Our current opportunities include:

Tours. We offer tours almost every Friday at 11am for individuals, families and groups. This is the perfect time to learn about volunteer opportunities. Each tour group gets to hear firsthand a story from a parent who has been a part of our program. To sign-up email tours@firstplaceschool.org.

Back to School Donation Drive. Students start their year at First Place up to 3 grade levels behind their peers. They need the right supplies in their backpacks, in the classroom and at home. We are actively seeking classroom donations. Learn more.

Join our Email List. We send short monthly email update as well as success stories.

Connect with us online through Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What is the newest issue emerging in homelessness policy?

Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had a Q & A session with the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Below is her answer from the first of five questions where she specifically talks about homeless families with children. It's exciting to see that families with children are at the top of the list of emerging issues.

What is the newest issue emerging in homelessness policy?
The issue of homelessness among children has become particularly visible as the recent collapse of the housing industry coupled with the current recession has swelled the number of families with children seeking homelessness assistance. I believe that it is possible to increase our efforts to help the growing population of homeless children and families, while also maintaining our efforts to address chronic homelessness. There are sizable opportunities for real collaboration using funding that has been made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as with the recent passage of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. In addition, the President’s budget for fiscal year 2010 includes over $400 million in HHS programs targeted to individuals, youth, and families experiencing homelessness, and a total of $338 billion for fourteen non-targeted, or mainstream, HHS programs that can serve persons experiencing homelessness. It will be critical to coordinate these resources flowing into communities to ensure that we are reaching the broadest populations possible, including in our efforts to prevent homelessness. HHS programs provide critical supportive services to homeless individuals, families, and children, and these services help these populations achieve or maintain economic and housing stability. By partnering HHS resources with resources available through other Federal agencies we can ensure a broader reach.

Read the full article here.