Weekly Insights: Homeless Children's Foundation
According to the Florida Department of Education, there were 342 homeless students in Indian River County during the 2022-2023 school year. This is nearly a 50% increase in the number of homeless students from the previous school year.
In 2015, the Homeless Children's Foundation (HCF) was created to provide sensible solutions for homeless families without duplicating existing services. Their mission is to fund and coordinate programs for homeless children to enable their healthy development and long term success while guiding their families to self-sufficiency. HCF helps families navigate local resources and provides programs for children, so parents know their children are being cared for while they are working.
Hannah Hite, Executive Director of HCF met Madison when she and her mother were sitting on the side of the road. Madison's family had just become homeless, with nowhere to sleep, no food, and only one small duffle bag with clothing in it. That same day, HCF enrolled Madison into a partner summer camp and arranged transportation. She attended daily for the following weeks, where she socialized, went on field trips, and received hot meals. Meanwhile, the Case Managers at HCF worked with Madison's mom to get them into a local shelter. Her mom is now employed and the family is doing much better. The work continues as HCF supports them to secure their own housing!
HCF's core programs include spring, summer, and winter camp, before and after school programs, and case management. All parents are provided one-on-one time with a Case Manager. During these meetings, parents can sign their children up for programs and work on barriers to becoming self-sufficient. This may include resume assistance, looking for employment or affordable housing, or seeking resources. The Homeless Children's Foundation's focus is providing children with opportunities and supporting parents and setting goals in order to change the outcome.
Weekly Insights works in conjunction with Indian River Indicators. Indian River Indicators was launched in June 2021 and originated after the completion of the 2019 Indian River Community Needs Assessment. It provides key data and information about our community that is updated annually and can be used to support and sustain proven programs. It can also be used by community leaders to develop policy, promote promising practices and inspire innovation that can lead to solutions to persistent community challenges. Indian River Community Foundation holds informational sessions on the first Tuesday of every month at 4pm via Zoom to introduce the community to this new resource. Please email Director of Philanthropy, Chiaka Nwosu at email@example.com to attend a session.
To learn more visit www.ircommunityfoundation.org and click “Indian River Indicators” or contact a member of the Community Foundation’s team at 772.492.1407.