Vogel Alcove is dedicated to helping children recover from the effects of homelessness. But we know that we cannot impact a child’s life without helping his or her whole family. 95% of the children we serve belong to families headed by a single female. Most of our mothers are young (in their 20s) with more than one child younger than six. Approximately 92% of young mothers experiencing homelessness have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse at some point in their lives (if not currently).
The families we serve typically come from dangerous neighborhoods with substandard housing. They often lack reliable transportation or a plan to obtain it. And our moms may have difficulty finding employment due to factors such as educational barriers, past history, personal mental health issues or lack of accessible or affordable child care. The Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness reports that 25% of homeless mothers reported quitting jobs or school due to problems with their child care.
Homeless moms often have high rates of major depressive disorders, post-traumatic responses and anxiety disorders, all of which affect their capacity to parent and support their children. They may feel angry, sad, afraid, guilty and hopeless. We help to build a support system under these families, consisting of services such as:
Mental Health SUPPORT
PARENTING SUPPORT & MORE
1:1 case management to work on personal goals and challenges
Mental health support and referrals
Access to resources for their children – clothes, diapers, shoes, toys, etc.
1:1 employment and/or education assistance
Support in navigating the process of securing housing in Dallas
Crisis intervention and problem solving
Parenting support and training
Referrals to outside resources and community partners
With a job as an administrative assistant at a local university and a suburban home near good schools for her three children, Susan had everything she needed in life. But when her husband lost his job and their savings due to his drug addiction, Susan and her children became homeless and her husband was jailed. The couple divorced soon thereafter.
Eighteen months later, Susan and her kids once again have their own home, access to quality schools and the necessities of life. Vogel Alcove played a major role in this amazing turn-around, providing free child care as well as clothing and shoes for Susan’s young daughter. Due to this stability, Susan was able to keep her job during their period of homelessness and re-establish her family in school, church and the neighborhood.
Lynn Cearley, Director of Family Services