While schools are re-opening and families are finishing up the summer, we have been quite busy helping them prepare!
This summer we distributed more 1,664 books to 208 children to keep kids reading during our Summer Reading Program. In addition our back-to-school distribution of backpacks, fall clothing, and school supplies, we continue to see increased need for shelter and housing among our neighbors. In particular, emergency shelter through our Bridge to Home program and move-ins through our mercy housing program have increased dramatically.
1. Emergency Shelter needs continue to increase.
In the first two months of our fiscal year, we have already provided 36% of last year’s total nights of emergency shelter. Finding families emergency shelter is critical to providing for their housing program. Unfortunately funding for this interim emergency shelter falls in between other existing housing resources, and we rely on your generous support to fund our Bridge to Home emergency shelter.
2. Housing Needs are increasing.
With motel rates increasing, families who use motels for shelter are now finding that they cannot afford to stay. Everyday, families come to us for help facing homelessness for the first time. While there is a short supply of affordable housing, our case managers work hard to advocate and place clients in housing– we have already moved 17 families into stable housing this year.
3. Case management continues to be the best solution.
On any given day, we have between 50-60 individuals in active case management. Once we place clients in stable housing we continue to work with them to develop habits that will promote their lasting financial independence.
How can you help?
- Join our mission! All of our programs, including Bridge to Home and Mercy Housing, can be supported on our website giving page. We also have Target and Amazon wishlists for household items, food, hygiene items– and soon, Christmas gifts!
- Share the need. When our community hears of a need, they answer with compassionate care for our neighbors. From neighborhood food drives to group volunteering, Williamsburg meets the needs of our neighbors. Follow our social media and help us spread the word about how #WilliamsburgCares.
- Be sure to read our Annual Report to check out the amazing impact your generosity had on our community last year!
- Come to our Open House. Talk with our case managers. See the new Mercy Housing suite. Visit the Food Project warehouse. More details coming soon!