Help Families Experiencing Homelessness by Supporting Door of Hope
By Scott Glovsky on May 23rd, 2020 in Coronavirus Resources
Covid-19 has impacted our communities in ways we could not have imagined. It has been especially difficult for those families experiencing or on the brink of homelessness. Door of Hope remains committed to helping families facing these dire situations and is expanding to serve even more in our community.
Door of Hope’s Executive Director Megan Katerjian remarked on our current situation. “As many of us struggle with the inconvenience and anxiety of quarantine at home, families experiencing homelessness struggle to meet basic needs like food, shelter, and resources to stay safe and healthy. For low-income families already living paycheck to paycheck, service sector layoffs and school closures threaten to skyrocket LA’s homelessness crisis. We are rapidly changing and expanding to meet these needs, deepening care for families we shelter, and expanding our prevention program to serve many new families.”
Please read about how you can help below. In the meantime, please learn more about this amazing organization.
Door of Hope Services
Founded in 1985, Door of Hope equips families to break the cycle of homelessness through transitional housing and homelessness prevention services.
Its Transitional Housing Program shelters 45 families annually, some of whom are women with children fleeing domestic violence. Here they participate in comprehensive and holistic services. Services are designed to help families overcome the emotional, practical, and financial challenges they face and transition into permanent housing. They include case management, financial literacy support and coaching, mental health counseling, children/youth programs, and life-skills classes. Services also include job readiness, permanent housing assistance, and supportive services/aftercare for program graduates.
Its Homelessness Prevention Program takes a proactive approach to homelessness by preventing eviction and keeping families housed. And they remain housed through six months of financial counseling/coaching, case management, and short-term rental/financial assistance.
Door of Hope (DOH) helps families from across Sothern California. Recent families are from Pasadena, Claremont, Pomona, San Gabriel, Glendale, Covina, Glendora, and East Los Angeles. Others are from Monrovia, the San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, San Dimas, Echo Park, Alhambra and more.
Holistic Transitional Housing Program
DOH houses 25 families at a time across 3 locations. Its programs help families overcome the practical, emotional, and financial challenges they face in their transition into permanent housing. The comprehensive services are designed for families to permanently break the cycle of homelessness. The programs include the following:
- Food and Basic Needs: DOH offers three nutritious meals every day to each resident.
- Housing: DOH provides housing for families who would otherwise be on the streets.
- Finances: DOH promotes family stability through the provision of financial counseling and workforce development activities.
- Child Development: While 32% of children who experience homelessness end up homeless as an adult, DOH breaks this cycle. All children receive personal, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring.
- Mental Health: DOH provides more than 1,500 hours of mental health counseling each year.
- Permanent Housing: DOH provides not only temporary shelter, but services that transition families into permanent housing. It also provides after-care for one year after graduation from the program.
First-time homelessness increased by 12% last year across Los Angeles County. This means that current families who successfully beat homelessness are replaced by new homeless families entering the system. In fact, one third of Los Angeles households spend more than 50% of their household income on rent. DOH’s homeless prevention program helps these families before they become homeless.
This program launched in September 2018. It is an innovative, cost-effective way to address the problem of homelessness before at-risk families lose their housing. The program equips families with the tools they need to avert a crisis. Activities help families overcome their financial or practical challenges so that they can prevent eviction and stay in their homes. The six-month program is outlined here.
- Families receive case management for at least six months. It includes budget planning, a housing affordability assessment, assistance applying for public benefits, and community referrals like job search support.
- A landlord-client-case manager meeting helps to negotiate a payment plan for rent arrears and to prevent eviction.
- Landlords and/or utility companies directly receive rental/financial assistance. This assistance is a short-term benefit that typically covers 1-2 months of expenses.
- If current housing is unsustainable, families receive relocation assistance. The primary goal is to keep families housed, but as necessary DOH navigates a housing search process with the client.
- In addition to case management budgeting education, a volunteer financial advising professional sometimes assists with financial literacy.
Door of Hope Makes a Difference
In 2019, DOH served 141 families including 177 adults and 319 children. The Transitional Housing Program housed 45 homeless families. The Homelessness Prevention Program kept 32 families housed. And Alumni Services helped stabilize 64 families in their new homes.
After one year, 97% of formerly homeless families remained housed and after five years 83% remained housed. 94% of families at risk of homelessness remained housed. 90% of parents increased their income and savings. 82% of children improved their behavior. And, 100% of parents experienced less anxiety and depression.
How can you support Door of Hope right now?
- Give a donation online. You can go online here to the donate by credit card, eCheck or debit card.
- Donate food items. You can see a list of needed items here. You can drop off food items at DOH’s main location at 669 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA. Please bring items to the front porch, ring the bell, and leave to maintain social distancing.
- Order groceries. You can order items to be delivered to the address above. Please email your receipt so DOH knows when the food will be delivered.
- Donate supplies. You can donate supplies to the address above. Most needed are gloves (M & XL), towel sets, diapers, Clorox/Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, and 8 oz. spray bottles. Also needed are paper towels, handmade face masks and toilet paper.
- Send a gift card. Families in the Homeless Prevention Program face even more challenges today. Gift cards from Target, Amazon, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and gas companies are much appreciated. To send a gift card, please email Kathy.
Thank you for supporting Door of Hope!
You can learn more about Door of Hope on Facebook and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
We are incredibly grateful to Door of Hope for the amazing work it does. And we greatly appreciate you supporting their battle against homelessness.
For other helpful information, please see the Coronavirus Resources page on The Law Offices of Scott Glovsky website.