Everyone needs a place to call home
2 min read
A white-picket fence and a house – it’s the iconic image of the American dream. Yet for the 500,000 individuals experiencing homelessness every night across our country and the millions more who struggle to make rent each month, that dream can seem unattainable.
As National Poverty Awareness Month continues, we’re introducing you to three more organizations this week that are working hard to change that. Each of them takes a long-term approach to conquering homelessness, striving to instill self-sufficiency in the individuals with whom they work rather than merely providing a bed for the night. They take a variety of approaches, but both are making a big difference in the communities they serve, and that’s why we’re thrilled to be investing $1.65 million in their efforts.
Check out their work:
Where many see desolation, ACTS Housing sees opportunity. Through its education and training program, ACTS empowers individuals through homeownership, and thousands of deteriorating houses in Milwaukee are now vibrant homes for some of the city’s most vulnerable thanks to ACTS Housing’s work. New owners are able to save over $200 on monthly housing costs and help transform run-down neighborhoods into thriving communities by seeking out vacant or vandalized foreclosures. To date, ACTS has sold over 2,500 homes, conducted 850 rehab projects and invested more than $136 million into Milwaukee communities where the average mortgage is almost always lower than $500 per month.
Running out of time, running out of luck, running out of energy…too often, these realities characterize the lives of the homeless. Back on My Feet aims to do precisely what its name says: get the homeless back on their feet through the power of a running community. After a month of successful, consistent running, homeless individuals are inducted into the “Next Steps” program. This program gives them personal and professional skills training, as well as access to resources such as security deposits and transportation that allow them to find a job and secure stable housing. Five thousand jobs, 150,000 volunteers and 2.1 million miles in, it’s safe to say this organization is helping homeless individuals in cities nationwide run towards new hope and new life.
Austin-based Mobile Loaves and Fishes started as a food truck service bringing free meals to the homeless, but has since expanded significantly to offer transformational opportunities to the homeless population of their city. Its most recent mission is to provide affordable housing and a caring community to individuals transitioning out of homelessness through its Community First! Village. In this community, they not only receive critical services, such as medical care and access to public transportation, they also are given the chance to work for a stable income in a variety of micro-enterprises. It’s a model that takes all needs – social, emotional, spiritual and physical – into account and allows individuals to experience holistic change.
These are just three of the 115-plus organizations Stand Together partners with to transform lives and communities around the country. We’re excited to share more of our Catalysts’ stories with you this month as we continue to roll out investment decisions – stick with us by signing up for updates here and joining the National Poverty Awareness Conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #PovertyAwareness.