Emergency Housing stabilizes families with children under the age of 18 who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, and help them obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible. Helping Hand House has provided emergency housing and services to homeless families with children since 1984. We provide Emergency housing for up to 3 months in six single-family units in east Pierce County. This quick turn-around works very well when the adults are working or able to become employed right away. The program works closely with participants to budget and save money, pay off debts, and earn income to support their household.
Unlike standard dormitory-style shelters, our innovative approach places families in fully-furnished single-family homes or apartments. The shelves are stocked with food, cleaning, and personal hygiene products, and the children receive age appropriate toys and books. The families do not pay any fees for this program. Relieved of financial burdens for a limited time, families can concentrate on stabilizing, earning and increasing income, saving money, and developing the tools they need to become self-supporting.
The pivot point of the family’s work at Helping Hand House is their case manager who begins working with them immediately. They meet each week (or more) to develop and implement a tailored and individualized family stability plan that identifies their strengths and challenges, includes employment and educational goals, financial management tools, and a results timeline. They develop a household budget and discuss emergent issues as needed. The children’s needs are also discussed and they create their own goals. The individual tailoring of the program and the steady support of the case manager increases the chances for success.
The primary goal of the Emergency Housing program is to move clients to permanent stable housing that they can afford and maintain independently. At Helping Hand House, they build the skills that will lead to their success. As the children see their parents succeed, they learn that overwhelming obstacles can be overcome and that things can get better.
Clients access our program through Access Point 4 Housing. We verify a family’s eligibility by collecting and authenticating documentation regarding their current living situation and income and we conduct background checks.
The mission of Helping Hand House is to prevent and end family homelessness.The Emergency Housing program supports our mission by reducing the number of families experiencing homelessness in Pierce County, reducing the amount of time families are homeless, increasing the number of families moving to permanent housing after receiving homeless assistance, and reducing the number of families who recede back into homelessness after obtaining permanent housing.