We are excited to announce that Housing Families First has been awarded the $500,000 Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant (CIG) for their project Bringing Families Home.
Housing Families First (HFF) is a primary provider of crisis housing services for Richmond-area families experiencing homelessness. In partnership with the Richmond Public Schools McKinney-Vento Program, Bringing Families Home will provide assistance with housing search, rental applications, lease negotiation, and move-in funds so that unserved students and their families can secure stable housing and end their homelessness. This partnership project will provide the foundation – stable housing – on which students can build improved school attendance, reduced behavioral concerns, and/or improved academic achievement, while also providing parents and non-school-age siblings with the benefits of safety and stability.
“A great deal of effort has been made to ensure that every student succeeds academically, but many students, siblings, and their parents have been left behind when it comes to housing,” said Beth Vann-Turnbull, Housing Family First Executive Director. “Housing Families First is thrilled to partner with Richmond Public Schools to help families experiencing homelessness get back into a home of their own.”
CIG funds will be used by HFF to hire a Community Housing Navigator to provide housing search help, as well as financial assistance for leasing, for students and families prioritized by RPS McKinney-Vento staff.
“Each year as we take this journey through CIG grant process we are given the opportunity to learn more about and be inspired by the many amazing organizations in Richmond that are working to improve the lives of children and families in our community”, said Juliet Shield-Taylor, Robins Foundation Board Chair. “We are so excited to partner with Housing Families First and their collaborating organizations. What the Richmond Region needs is more innovative programs and approaches like Bringing Families Homes that have the capacity to really change lives.”
About Housing Families First
Originally founded in 2001 as Hilliard House, HFF supports families with minor children to access shelter and find permanent housing, then connects them with community resources to keep it. Their mission is to provide families experiencing homelessness with the tools to achieve housing stability. The goal is not only to assist families in finding permanent housing but also to ensure that each family has access to the supportive services necessary to sustain housing in the long run.
About the CIG
The CIG provides a unique opportunity, and a $500,000 award, for Richmond’s non-profits to propose actionable solutions that will have a meaningful and measurable impact on complex issues that our region has been wrestling with for generations, including homelessness, housing instability, education, workforce development, and health.
The CIG cycle started in October 2019 with proposal submissions. Organizations were invited to present ideas to the Robins staff and the CEO of the previous CIG winner. Following those presentations, ten non-profit proposals were invited to host site visits to bring their proposals to life. A committee of the Robins Foundation Board then met the top five to determine the top two finalists before announcing the recipient today.