Guest Blog: Kenitra's Story
Kenitra and her newborn baby were on the verge of becoming homeless in 2016.
But Kenitra – with the help of Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) – drew up a plan to find an apartment, secure a job, and access the resources needed to care for her daughter, without ever having to step foot inside a shelter.
“If you follow that plan, there’s no way you’re not going to get back on track,” Kenitra said. “Father Bill’s & MainSpring is like another family to me.”
At FBMS, we believe our communities are only as strong as the support and stability that we provide to our most vulnerable residents, most especially our families who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
As part of FBMS’ strategic plan, we began implementing a new family track that aligned our resources to create a homelessness prevention and diversion team. The model was designed to create better outcomes for families, meaning fewer entries into emergency shelter, shorter shelter stays, more exits to housing and employment, and improved retention of housing.
The plan is working. Last year alone, our prevention and diversion programs helped 341 families avoid emergency shelter. Over the past two years, we’ve helped 161 families exit shelter and move into permanent housing.
After receiving one-time rental assistance in 2016, Kenitra and her daughter moved into their own apartment in Brockton. Today, Kenitra has a job and the stability she needs to start building a future for her daughter.
A stabilization worker and employment specialist from FBMS are working with Kenitra to help her maintain a budget and remain housed.
“They don’t just close your case,” she said of FBMS. “They stay with you.”
FBMS and Old Colony Y are part of a regional continuum of care designed to provide assistance and supportive housing to families experiencing homelessness.