Programs and Services that Build Pathways out of Poverty
Homefirst has a long history of working with children and families in crisis, parents unable to provide basic necessities for their children, and young moms starting a family without ever having had the role models or parenting support they needed to succeed. Our services help to support and strengthen the capacity for children and families to navigate difficult times and make positive choices. Family Support and Success Centers are designed to be “one-stop” shops that provide wrap around resources and supports to families – making them and the communities they live in – stronger. Staff serve as advocates for families and help connect them to other resources available to them. Services include, but are not limited to:
- Access to child, maternal and family health services; family success plans; parent education; employment related services; development of life skills; housing related services; advocacy and related support; as well as information, referrals and linkages to community resources. The organization is continuously developing unique partnerships under this initiative, to further strengthen families.
- A calendar of events is released monthly, detailing the month’s activities and events.
Plainfield Family Support Center
Homefirst operates The Plainfield Family Support Center, with its own set of programs and services that are customized to meet the immediate needs of the local community. The Plainfield Family Support Center is located at 905 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ
The Center offers a variety of Family Strengthening Services with a special emphasis on housing such as transitional housing services as well as programs and resources for homeless persons with disabilities. These services are provided in several areas of the Family Success Center.
- Cooking Classes: Volunteer uses herbs and vegetables from our community garden to create a meal that promotes a healthy diet.
- Meal Prep for various programs held at the Plainfield FSC
Living Room Area (front room):
- Welcome Area: Area where individuals meet with social worker.
- Cyber Mondays: Free computer usage to access the internet, do homework, check emails, job search, updating resumes, etc. (smaller groups). Click here to download flyer.
- Horizon NJ Health: Free medial and social service case management
Computer Room (upstairs room):
- Cyber Mondays: Free computer usage to access the internet, do homework, check emails, job search, updating resumes, etc. (larger groups). Click here to download flyer.
- Parenting Skill Classes
- Staff Training
- Workshops for Clients (varies per month)
- Staff Meetings
Other Services Offered at Plainfield FSC
- Child and Parent Advocacy
- Community Garden: Free fresh produce for our clients and the community.
- Community Linkage: Referrals to outside agencies
Self-Sufficiency & Life Skills Opportunities
Parents and residents are encouraged, and sometimes required to access these services. They often start with one program and transition to other programs as they progress into independence and financial stability. These opportunities include information and training in, but is not limited to:
- Financial literacy
- Employment services
- English as a Second Language
- GED – High School Equivalency
- Teen mentoring
- Grief and loss workshops
- Financial Literacy, tax-preparation
- Computer and Internet access
Parent Education, Enrichment & Advocacy
Homefirst recognizes that successful parenting is the fundamental foundation for developing strong families and thriving communities. Parents, who are dealing with a sudden loss of income or obstacles that jeopardize the stability of their homes and families, need resources and services that help them overcome those obstacles and transition into sustainable careers, housing and ultimately stronger families. Through our parent education programs, parents receive;
- Parenting education
- Parent/child enrichment activities
- Support group counseling and services
- Informational workshops
- Advocacy services
Housing Related Services
A home is the most critical need any child and family requires to feel safe and to grow into healthy and productive members of a community. When families face homelessness they deal with crisis in ways that do not benefit children. The stress of pending homelessness or being in a homeless situation is a crisis that Homefirst is most effective at in helping the community thrive. Families are provided with access to a number of services that create stability, including:
- Permanent Housing for qualified families and individuals who are homeless or low-income and seeking affordable, long term permanent housing.
- Transitional Housing services that provide families an affordable place to live for an average of 18 – 24 months in coordination with supportive services such as job training, educational counseling, job placement, financial literacy training, referral to social services, transportation solutions, and more.
- Permanent Supportive Housing, which includes the coordination of supportive services with placement in affordable homes made available to families who are living with a disability and are homeless.
Family Support & Homelessness Prevention
Through the Plainfield Family Support Center, Homefirst offers individuals and families emergency assistance, eviction prevention services, access to affordable housing (security deposit and first month’s rent), and utilities assistance.